Pat Sutton

Pat Sutton lives near Cape May, New Jersey, the world renowned migratory crossroads that is famous for its hawk, owl, songbird, shorebird, dragonfly, and Monarch butterfly migration. She has keenly studied the natural world for over 40 years.

Pat and her husband Clay’s landmark book, Birds and Birding at Cape May (Stackpole Books, 2006), is the in-depth result of their efforts over many years documenting and protecting the migration and the hometown that they so love.

Pat and Clay Sutton together have co-authored How to Spot Butterflies (1999), How to Spot Hawks & Eagles (1996), and How to Spot an Owl (1994), all published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Pat has been a working naturalist since 1977, first for the Cape May Point State Park and then for 21 years with New Jersey Audubon’s Cape May Bird Observatory, where she was the Naturalist and Program Director (1986 to 2007).  Pat has a Masters Degree from Rowan University in Environmental Education and an undergraduate degree in Literature from the State University of New York at Oneonta.

Pat is happiest when exploring natural areas with her binocs and camera, here in Francis Marion National Forest, SC

Today, Pat is a free-lance writer, photographer, naturalist, educator, lecturer, tour leader, and wildlife habitat / conservation gardening educator.

Pat is a passionate wildlife habitat gardener and advocate for butterflies, moths, bees (all pollinators), birds, dragonflies, frogs, toads, and other critters. Pat has taught about wildlife-friendly and native plant gardening for over 40 years.  Sutton’s own wildlife garden is a “teaching garden” featured in many programs, workshops, and garden tours.

Pat and Clay Sutton’s wildlife habitat was one of 15 “Birdy Backyard All-Stars” featured in Bill Thompson III’s book, Bird Homes and Habitats (published in 2013) and was one of 29 gardens featured in Nancy Berner and Susan Lowry’s book, Gardens of the Garden State (published in 2014).

Pat and Clay share their passion both in Southern New Jersey and around the country at festivals and conferences.

Pat served as an Honorary Director of Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes for 4 years (2013-2017).   For 4 years (2011-2015) she was a proud Team Member of Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens.

Pat is a founding Board Member of the North American Butterfly Association. She coauthored, with David Wright, the Cape May Bird Observatory’s “Cape May County Butterfly Checklist” and the Cape May County butterfly site guide in Jeffrey Glassberg’s Butterflies Through Binoculars.

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.