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 12, 2019

Update for weekend of Oct. 12 - 13

Monarch numbers have been gradually increasing over the last few days.  If you've never seen more than a few monarchs in one place, you'll be delighted with what can be seen in Cape May right now.  Those who have been here when monarchs seem to be everywhere, however, will realize that these are just moderate numbers by Cape May standards.  As is typically the case in October, most are found along the dunes in Cape May Point and next to the Promenade in Cape May City, feeding on the flowers of seaside goldenrod.  If you come to see or photograph monarchs at these locations, it's crucial to stay on the paths and never enter the dunes.

Female monarch on seaside goldenrod

We are receiving reports of big numbers of monarchs at Stone Harbor Point.  Our volunteers up there, coordinated by Sue Slotterback of the Wetlands Institute, use monarch tags that are colored green, so that we can quickly recognize them if they come to Cape May Point.  It's surprising how seldom we see the Stone Harbor monarchs, suggesting that once they leave that spot they just fly right over Cape May on their way south.  Will we see a lot more monarchs arriving into Cape May Point today?  There's no way to know, but we'll be out there watching.

Our team is very busy with our program schedule.  Our last formal tagging demos of the year at Cape May Point will be held this Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm.  We hosted over 100 people at each of our demos last Friday and Saturday.  These free programs are held at the East Picnic Shelter in Cape May Point State Park.  Next Friday through Sunday, Oct. 18 - 20, we will have our tagging demos at 12:00 noon at the Cape May Convention Center as part of the NJ Audubon Cape May Fall Festival.  Learn more about this fabulous event here:  Our informal "drop-in" programs at Triangle Park, held Mondays through Thursdays, will continue through October 24.  And, of course, the big Monarch Migration Festival will be held at the Nature Center of Cape May on Sunday, Oct. 13, details here:  We're hoping that there will be good numbers of monarchs at each of these events.

Big turnout for one of our tagging demos.

We also work with school groups; naturalists Anya Held and
Brendan Schaffer are shown here teaching a class.

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