The Monarch Monitoring Project is a long-term study on monarch migration through Cape May, NJ. It is a part of the New Jersey Audubon Research Department, and closely affiliated with the Cape May Bird Observatory.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Last Chance!

Hey Monarch-lovers, this is a heads-up that tomorrow is our last demo day of the season! If you want to see Monarchs in hand, and have your Monarch questions answered by the Monarch Monitoring Project, please join us at the State Park tomorrow at 2pm.

Of course, you can still find us tagging all over the point when the Monarchs are booming, and we'll be happy to give you a one-on-one demo. But tomorrow you will have the chance to meet the knowledgable MMP founder, Dick Walton, and the rest of the crew.

Meeting visitors and locals alike at these demos has been an incredible blast, and I am constantly amazed at all of the intelligent questions that arise, some of which science knows the answers to and some they don't. Such as, why do we catch more males than females? Why do Monarchs have scent glands if their mating strategy doesn't require them? When do Monarchs arise on their over-wintering grounds? How do they know that they need to go to Mexico? How do they get there? And so many more. This is the reason why I love being part of this project - asking interesting questions and figuring out the answers.

I also enjoy being in Cape May because I'm learning about all living things! Among them, dragonflies and arachnids. Just this week, I noticed some blue-faced meadowhawks (below) arriving with Northwest winds.

Using a bush-beating technique and sheet, Dick Walton and I found several different spiders and this one - the star-bellied orbweaver below - was one of the most stunning.

Tomorrow should have better conditions for Monarchs than the past couple of rainy days. The ones that are here now have been sitting tight under trees and bushes just awaiting warmer temperatures and better winds. North-northeast winds aren't ideal but it's pretty close! Get outside tomorrow and see what's in store.

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