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Butterflies Fluttering By: Red Admirals "Irrupting'' All Over The Place

Hatchlings responsible for multitudes flying around

If you're seeing an inordinate amount of butterflies around today, you're right. There are, experts say.

They're Red Admiral butterflies, although they at first glance do look like their more well-known cousins, the Monarch butterfly. And if you're seeing multitudes, it's because it's a birthday party.

Todd Klein, a volunteer at the Cape May Bird Observatory, said this is around the time that Red Admirals are hatching. There is some migration taking place, too, Klein said.

"But what you're likely seeing are the hatchlings from last year,'' he said. "It has just gotten warm enough that the eggs are hatching.''

The observatory tracks the movement of Monarch butterflies over time. Klein said often the Red Admiral gets confused with the Monarch because the two are similarly colored.

The sudden influx of the butterflies is called an "irruption" -- a natural, cyclical population boom that causes an increase of butterflies every few years. And the unusually warm winter we had this year helped them to thrive, experts say. A boom of this size has not been seen in 12 years, according to butterfly watchers.

If you're overrun today like so many seem to be, don't forget to send in those pictures!

DBW May 04, 2012 at 08:45 PM
There are thousands between brick and Toms river, makes me happy.
Dorothy Smith Bishop May 04, 2012 at 08:55 PM
All over Lacey
Lisa T May 04, 2012 at 09:02 PM
Our kids got to experience this beautiful site and catch a few of course we let them go what beautiful memories!!
RDinLacey May 04, 2012 at 09:06 PM
Saw millions along Route 9 between Lacey and Pine Beach!! They are everywhere!!
Kathy Bottone May 04, 2012 at 09:25 PM
All over Point and they came with me as I drove down Herbertsville. Love them! They are in all my lilacs and irises. Beautiful!!!
Beach Girl May 04, 2012 at 09:27 PM
All over Lacey - so pretty!
Kathi zuppardo May 04, 2012 at 09:38 PM
They fly by so fast ! Where are they going ?
bill prudden May 04, 2012 at 09:43 PM
They so over my back.yard in Manasquan.
Erin Theriault May 04, 2012 at 10:01 PM
All over my deck and lilac trees in Oceanport! I love them!
Heather Messina May 04, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Toms river is under a blanket of butterflies!
Donna L Stanley May 04, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Tinton Falls has them too!!!
LAURA KERWIN May 04, 2012 at 10:19 PM
THE IMAGE OF THE ABOVE BUTTERFLY IS INCORRECT IT IS A PEACOCK BUTTERFLY, INDIGENOUS TO EUROPE!!!! HERE IS A LINK TO A REAL RED ADMIRAL: http://animal.discovery.com/guides/butterflies/angelwings-tortoiseshells/red-admiral.html
Tammy Leshko Greiss May 04, 2012 at 10:20 PM
Bayville has tons!!! Love it!!!
Jackie May 04, 2012 at 10:30 PM
this is so cool!!
Nicole Toussaint May 04, 2012 at 11:59 PM
I'm in Toms River and the kids are loving it!
Mr. ? May 05, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Never ever saw so many! Driving east on 37 in Toms River at 6:00 p.m. had a hard time keeping my eyes on the road...actually a distraction , but so cool!
Phil Ashio May 05, 2012 at 12:49 AM
They looked real pretty splattered all over my windshield while driving on the parkway
stuffin May 05, 2012 at 01:14 AM
Thanks, that is one I'm seeing.
Debra Strauss May 05, 2012 at 01:44 AM
There were many in my yard today wile I was mowing my lawn. they just kept coming and coming. They seemed to be traveling south. It was incredible.
Dana May 05, 2012 at 01:45 AM
It was the most beautiful site to see !!! It feels like angels all around us :)
Laur May 05, 2012 at 01:48 AM
They're everywhere in Brick and Toms River
Tara Blessing May 05, 2012 at 01:56 AM
It was truly amazing here in T.R. what a beautiful experience.......smiles all around:-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)
Silver dollar May 05, 2012 at 02:33 AM
They were all over my dogwood tree . Got a good close up look at them . Beautiful.
Melissa May 05, 2012 at 03:28 AM
Saw so many today in bayville, very pretty.
Kathleen Walker May 05, 2012 at 04:07 AM
Rich Saw many of them in my yard in Neptune City.
Linny May 05, 2012 at 02:03 PM
Its so beautiful... nature at its best!!! Lacey was loaded with them on Friday and it was truly a sight to see.. I just loved it..
Larry Cataldo May 05, 2012 at 02:54 PM
BEATIFUL HAPPY BIRTHDAY RED ADMIRAL!
Mattie May 05, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Love the video Lauren! :-)
Leener May 05, 2012 at 05:49 PM
This was a beautiful event. Thank you for posting.
Mary Mann May 07, 2012 at 02:02 AM
We are covered with butterflies in Maplewood! Glad to have them — and an explanation!

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