Butterflies Abound

A Red Admiral in Bernadette Baum's garden

After spending the winter down south, the Red Admiral butterflies have stopped in New Jersey in what appear to be unusually large numbers.

Stephen Schuckman, a seasonal consultant at the Metropolitan Plant Exchange, noticed the unusual amount of Red Admirals the other day. Initially, he thought that because of the mild winter, a lot of pupae had survived and were hatching early.

After a bit of research, however, he found that the species is migrating out of the southern states into New Jersey. This could be a result of the mild winter and unusually warm early spring days we’ve experienced.

Schuckman observed that there are ,”hundreds of them at the garden center… almost everywhere.”

Red admirals have a typical lifespan of about three months and migrate north during the spring and sometimes again during the fall.

“I think this is an unusual event,” said Schuckman.


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  1. I noticed all kinds of butterflies around my honeysuckle and and lilacs this weekend, including the Red Admiral. I don’t recall ever having seen so many.

  2. Hm interesting, I was just commenting yesterday on how I’ve seen a lot more butterflies than usual recently.

  3. If only this story had broken earlier, I’m sure one of the slates would have come out with a flyer blaming one of the others for the b-fly presence. Something about butterflies being able to survive on high taxes.

  4. I have seen the red admirals, and noted them because they were unusual, but I also also just spotted a goldfinch, which is pretty rare in my yard.

  5. We had several dozen all over the allium in the garden this weekend during the plant sale here at Van Vleck House & Gardens.It was amazing.

    In Monarch Butterfly news, got word this morning that the first eggs on milkweed were collected from Anne Stires’ garden (over the ‘hill’) in Verona this morning! That’s early too!

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