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.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Monday update -- they're back!

After having very good numbers of monarchs around on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, we watched a major exodus on Sunday morning.  We feel a little sad to watch them go, yet we're happy that they are on their way to Mexico.  The winds were predicted to blow from the east early this week, and we expected a few quieter days before the next surge was to arrive into our area.

Much to our surprise, the wind continued to blow gently from the north on Monday, and by the afternoon we saw another major influx of monarchs into Cape May Point.  By mid-afternoon the seaside goldenrod along the beach at Cape May Point was absolutely loaded with monarchs.

Since the afternoon was warm and the winds were gentle, many monarchs kept feeding until sunset; some monarchs began settling into overnight roosts as the sun began to set, but our guess is that more came into those roosts during the late twilight hours.

Our predictions are often wrong, but here's our guess: Right after sunrise there will be good sized roosts at various locations.  The most recent best roosting spot, in the pines along the trail to the beach at St. Peters-by-the-sea in Cape May Point, will probably have plenty of monarchs at sunrise.  As the day starts to warm, most monarchs will probably head back into the seaside goldenrod to feed, while some will head out across Delaware Bay to continue their southbound migrations.

Whatever happens tomorrow, we'll report back to let you know.


  1. What a phenomenon of nature. When they flock up to leave and on their arrival it must be spectacular. Well worth everyone's involvement.

  2. It has slowed down, but we expect many more to arrive whenever we get winds from the north or northwest again.