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.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Thursday update

Moderately strong northeast winds blew into Cape May on Tuesday and Wednesday, strong enough to keep most monarchs from crossing Delaware Bay.  Numbers remained steady, with most butterflies staying low and in sheltered areas, out of the wind.  These were good days to visit the gardens around Cape May Point.

Female monarch gathers nectar from a tiny English ivy
flower. This ivy vine grows amidst a sheltered grove
of trees at Cape May Point.
By Thursday morning the winds had diminished, though they still blew gently from the northeast.  Monarchs don't like to cross the Bay in strong winds, but it seems that many departed for Delaware with the morning's gentle winds.  A few monarchs may have arrived, but the numbers of monarchs in Cape May were down considerably by day's end.

The meteorologists are predicting northeast or east winds for the next four days.  These are not winds the usually bring many monarchs into Cape May, so we're expecting a bit of a lull in the migration.  If you're coming to Cape May, don't despair, there will still be monarchs around the Point, and probably in numbers greater than you'll find in most other locales.  But we don't expect the next surge of migrating monarch to arrive until the wind switches back around to the northwest.  The current forecast calls for northwest winds next Tuesday and Wednesday.  Let's hope the forecast holds.  This is prime time for monarch migration, there are many more that we're sure to see traveling through Cape May Point during the next four weeks.

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