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, October 8, 2015

Thursday evening update

It was a terrific day for monarch migration through Cape May Point.  Very good numbers were seen moving along the dunes, nectaring on seaside goldenrod along the dunes, and gathered up in the gardens around town.  As evening approached it seemed that numbers had dropped a bit.  I ran into a visitor at Cape May Point who had come across Delaware Bay on the ferry in the afternoon, who told me that many monarchs were in view from the ferry, flying across the Bay to Delaware and thence to points south.

The winds were gentle today, ideal for the monarchs to make the flight to Delaware.  We find ourselves hoping for a great spectacle of monarchs in Cape May, but if we really care about these butterflies we should be happy for days like this when they can make the perilous crossing of Delaware Bay successfully.

There were still plenty of monarchs around Cape May Point late in the afternoon, so it should be a good morning for seeing monarchs tomorrow.  Beyond that we can't predict -- maybe most will be heading south to Delaware, and maybe more will be arriving from points north.  If we see another major influx we'll try to post an update promptly.

We did search for roosting monarchs around Cape May Point this evening, without success.  We found a number of locations where monarchs were settling into the trees as sunset approached, but they were scattered and not clustering together at any of the locations we checked.  We'll keep checking every evening.


  1. Great to meet you in the field today, Mark! I have some pics to share from the dunes, seaside goldenrod loaded with monarchs. By the way, how fat was that male monarch you were tagging, anyways? I'm very intrigued with the monarch fat scores! Stacy Small-Lorenz, NWF

    1. Thanks Stacy! Touch base if you have more time in Cape May and we can show you the whole tagging protocol. We'd love to see your pictures, you can send them to our project e-mail address: Hope to see you again soon.