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