Dragonfly Migration

So, yesterday… I went to Bergman Park to appease The Dog.  I didn’t take the camera because I have an enormous number of backlogged photos that I haven’t dealt with yet.

Luckily, however, I DID have an insect net in the trunk of my car.  Because what I saw was soooo… interesting.

Common Green Darner - Female Teneral CloseupThe big mowed field between the road where I park and the woods where I like to walk was quite active with dragonflies…  and they all seemed to be feeding.  There were at least one hundred, if not more.  I wasn’t sure what they were, though I suspected Common Green Darners.  I wondered if they were stoking up calories for their migration…

I stood patiently in the field for quite a long time, much to Lolli’s dismay, trying to net one.  I finally managed to knock one to the ground, then net it.  Indeed!  It WAS a Common Green Darner.

But what was this?  Another dragon flew close enough to me that I could tell it was a Black Saddlebags… Hmm… A mixed “flock” of dragons.  It was so cool to watch them grab insects out of the air to munch on!

Black Saddlebags

This afternoon, I googled a little and found out that there is still much to be learned about dragonfly migration.  While radio transmitters attached to individuals have given some information about migration behaviors, scientists are trying to figure out a way to “tag” big flocks of them, without having to capture individuals and process them one at a time.  Until a method can be found, scientists will continue to wonder where they go, exactly, when they migrate.

Cool fact:  An adult dragonfly may migrate south, breed and die.  It’s offspring will migrate back north again…  Nature never ceases to amaze me…

Learn more:


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7 thoughts on “Dragonfly Migration

  1. That is pretty cool about the migration. I was at Palmyra Cove near me the other day and an area that had been dry the week before had a decent amount of water in it – and there were hundreds of dragonflies there (it had 1 or 2 the previous week).

  2. On Thursday evening, Sept. 11th, I observed dragonflies migrating NORTH. I was on a balcony in Stonington, CT. for approximately 45 min. During the entire time large dragonflies were flying past heading due north. I did not have a camera or a counting devise so it is a guess on my part but I believe something in the order of 50 dragonflies a minute passed by the balcony.

  3. I have just been to Mozambique where one morning early while watching the sunrise on the beach hundreds possibly thousands of dragonfly came past, at any one time there were at least 40visible , this continued for hours, they were all heading north.

    Quite incredible, I had never heard of this phenomonon till I googled it.

  4. I have several times seen hundreds of dragonflies migrating across the sagebrush prairie of SW Montana miles from water. I’ve told a few biologists about this and they look at me like I’m nuts.

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