Monarchists Win Cape Island Cup!


Monarchists pose with the Cape Island Cup at the Awards Brunch for the 29th annual World Series of Birding.  Left to right: Christina “Kashi” Kisiel Davis, Meg Walker Hedeen, Michael O’Brien, Team Captain Louise Zemaitis, LuAnn Daniels, Ron “Mr. Scones” Rollet, Mark Garland, Paige Cunningham.

At left, Michael & Meg listen for the flight calls of nocturnal migrants on the streets of Cape May, 2:30 am.  We heard many species during a excellent night of migration, and found most of those species again during the daylight hours.  At right, Michael, Louise, Meg, & Lu prepare to ride from the Meadows to Higbee (after enjoying Ron’s scones) at about 5:30 am.

A few of the day’s sightings, clockwise from far left: Orchard Oriole (young male), Canada Goose & American Oystercatcher, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Mississippi Kite, Common Yellowthroat.  The team’s total was 155 species of birds and 14 species of butterflies.

    The Monarchists offer sincere thanks to all of our sponsors: Roger & Ann Bird, John Bjerke, Megan Carroll & Michelle Price, Ethel Cebra, Michael & Mary Anne Cola, Glen & Christina Davis, Geri Drymalski, Mark England, Mark & Sue Eveland, Richard Ferraro & Barbara Winter, Robert T. Garland, Matt Garvey, Tom & Judy Gire, Barbara Golla, Chris & Lee Hajduk, Meghan Walker Hedeen, Stanley & Katherine Hedeen, Ann Hobbs & David Livengood, Linda Keister, Sue Laudeman, Tony Leukering, Bev Linn, Stephanie Mason, Gary Mozel, John & Katharine Patterson, Tim Ray & Grace Su, Patricia Rourke, Bill & Edie Schuhl, Jack Schultz & Helen Kavanagh, Stuart & Claudia Scott, Mike & Marti Seraphin, Michael Seraphin, Richmond Shreve & Marguerite Chandler, Chuck & Mary Jane Slugg, Frank Vanlandingham, Richard K. Walton, John Whitaker & Wendy Fredericks, David Wizer, Bill Wilkinson & Jan Dale, Jeff Wneck & Ana Argüelles.

We have received all of the pledges that we expect, but it’s not too late to surprise us with another contribution!

The birders on our team, shown here at the Pond Creek Marsh overlook, found 155 species of birds on Cape Island on May 12, 2012, winning the Cape Island Cup by a considerable margin.  We also competed under the “No Carbon Footprint” category, traveling only by foot or bicycle all day.  Left to right: Louise, LuAnn, Michael, and Meg.  Not shown: Mark (taking the picture).  Chris, Ron, & Paige provided crucial support during, before, and after the event.

Click here to return to Mark’s home page.

More action shots, clockwise from top left: Louise at Pond Creek; Meg at the Higbee Dunes; Louise & Michael at the Meadows; Meg & Louise ride at the Magnesite Plant; Lu & Louise listen for warblers at Higbee; Meg after scanning the Higbee Pond; the birders plus Paige & Ron at “second lunch”; Michael waits and hopes for the Barred Owl to call back (it didn’t); Lu after a break at Michael & Louise’s, which yielded the day’s only Merlin!

Monarchists were competing in the World Series of Birding to raise funds for the Cape May Monarch Monitoring Project.  Many sponsors have already sent contributions, others pledged to donate a certain amount to the project based on the number of bird species we found, and some also pledged additional support for each species of butterfly that we found.  If you made such a pledge, your pledged amount should be multiplied by 155 for the birds, by 14 for the butterflies.  We also are happy to receive bonus donations to honor our victory!  Contributions may be given to any team member or sent to Monarchists, c/o team member Mark Garland, at PO Box 154, Cape May Point, NJ  08212.  Checks should be made payable to the NJ Audubon Society, and please write “Monarch Project 024” on the ‘memo’ line.

It’s not too late to be a sponsor!  Know that your contribution goes a long way to support this long-term, low-budget survey of migratory monarch butterflies as they pass through Cape May in the autumn.  Last fall, for the first time, we were able to hire two young biologists to assist with our studies, thanks to funds raised by the Monarchist team in the 2010 and 2011 World Series of Birding competitions.

The team also searched for butterflies, finding 14 species during the big day, including many American Ladies (above).

Click here to return to Mark’s home page.

Total of contributions received thus far:


Thanks to all!

    At one point in the afternoon, as we were riding around Cape May Point, Meg wanted to stop at the house where she was staying so she could change shoes.  While we waited for the shoe change, we noticed this nighthawk at roost in a nearby tree.  We love finding birds by serendipity!