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.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Monarchs keep coming

Less than a week of October remains in 2017, but the weather is just now turning chilly with winds from the north and northwest.  These are winds that bring migrant birds and monarch butterflies into Cape May, but it's getting late into the monarch migration season.  We didn't know what to expect when storms passed through on Tuesday and the temperature started dropping.  Maybe we'd see another surge of monarch migration, or maybe the changing weather would signal the end of the 2017 migration.

Today's observations tell us that the migration certainly isn't over, but we don't know how many more monarchs are coming nor for how much longer they'll keep coming.  Last year the migration continued through the first week of November.

There were reasonable numbers of monarchs around Cape May Point today, and a small roost was found at Cape May Point State Park, but many more monarchs were seen a bit to our north at Stone Harbor Point.  Maybe they'll flood into Cape May Point tomorrow, or maybe they'll just fly over us and head straight to Delaware.  Maybe many more will arrive from the north.  I wish we could better predict what was going to happen over the next few days, but since we can't, we'll just head out  into the field each day to keep counting and checking.

Monarch roost at Stone Harbor Point, 10/25/17

Our scheduled tagging demos have ended, but since monarchs are still around, we're happy to announce new, bonus monarch tagging demos at 12:00 noon this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, at Cape May Point's East Shelter, the covered picnic pavilion adjacent to the hawk watch platform.  There's no charge for the program, though donations to the NJ Audubon Cape May Bird Observatory Monarch Monitoring Project are happily accepted.


  1. Perth Amboy... monarch still here. Should I catch and release further south? Weather is below 60 day and close to 40 night’ advice?

  2. Monarchs have no trouble with these temperatures, don't catch, it will be fine on its own.

  3. our nectar plants are fading fast here in central NJ. tonight is expected to freeze,but you never know around here. Did not see any today in an area abundant before