I first met Pat Sutton at a New Jersey Audubon Fall Weekend in Cape May, NJ. She enthusiastically led the listing of the day’s butterfly sightings. She was so passionate about the butterflies and also about the Diamondback Terrapins who were laying their eggs along the beaches that I knew I just had to meet her.
When I did, I discovered a “soul mate,” someone who was just as excited and knowledgeable about the necessity of sharing our gardens with wildlife as I was. She has been my friend and mentor for many years now.
Pat Sutton is an author and educator who has been teaching workshops and leading garden tours through private garden habitats for the past thirty years. She is an avid naturalist, finding amazement and fascination in all parts of the natural world around her.
She and her husband, Clay, live near Cape May, NJ, and their new landmark book, Birds and Birding at Cape May, is the in-depth result of their efforts over many years documenting and protecting the migration and the hometown that they so love.
Birds and Birding at Cape May by Sutton and Lewington is an informative and comprehensive guide to bird-watching at one of the world’s premier birding sites. The authors provide detailed descriptions of the wide variety of bird species that can be found in the region, as well as tips and tricks for making the most of your bird-watching experience. The book is filled with stunning photographs of the birds, and the authors provide detailed information on the habitats, behavior, and identification of each species. The book also includes an extensive checklist of birds in the area, as well as a wealth of other resources such as maps, migration information, and tips for finding rare birds. Birders of all levels of experience will find this book to be an invaluable resource for a successful birding trip to Cape May.
Pat has been teaching workshops for many years on subjects such as Milkweed for Monarchs, Butterfly Gardens I have known, Dragonfly Ponds, Tours of Private Habitat Gardens, Wildlife Habitat Gardens, and Gardening for Butterflies.
Pat has developed quite a following of devoted gardeners who have taken all of her workshops and have created amazing habitats in their gardens. This army of gardeners is spreading the word by sharing their knowledge with their friends and neighbors, encouraging them to create garden habitats as well. This is a true grass-roots movement, spreading from Pat through the participants in her classes, and from there out into neighborhoods all over South Jersey and Pennsylvania and beyond. (See one of Pat’s “army” featured here).
The many gardens for wildlife in Cape May are a beautiful testament to Pat’s dedication and enthusiasm in reaching out to new recruits and instilling in them the passion for spreading this very important message: we can each make a difference for wildlife from our own properties.
Pat is a founding member of the North American Butterfly Association and avid butterfly gardener.
She coauthored, with David Wright, CMBO’s “Cape May County Butterfly Checklist” and the Cape May County butterfly site guide in Jeffrey Glassberg’s Butterflies Through Binoculars.
Today, Pat and Clay are free-lance writers, naturalists, lecturers, and tour leaders. Articles and photography by Pat & Clay have appeared in New Jersey Audubon, Peregrine Observer, New Jersey Outdoors, Sanctuary, American Butterflies, Wild Bird, Bird Watcher’s Digest, Birder’s World, Birding, Living Bird, Defenders, and others.
Her other books, with her husband Clay, How to Spot Butterflies, How to Spot Hawks & Eagles, How to Spot an Owl, all by Houghton Mifflin, are a testament to the joy they take in the natural world around them and devotion to sharing this passion with others.
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