Thank you to Hiatt Manufacturing for letting us publish this article by Don and Lillian Stokes on how to find dragonflies.
When the birding slows down in summer and birds are quiet in the middle of the day, birders turn to watching dragonflies, that’s what we do. Dragonflies are active on warm days, the hotter and sunnier the better. Dragonflies are stunningly beautiful, have cool names, and are abundant in fields, lakes, streams, and shores – Many of the places people go in summer.
Here are a few tips to enjoy and identify them.
- Use your binoculars to spot them, if you have close focusing binoculars, even better.
- Some dragonfly males patrol territories along ponds, lakes, and streams. Females mate with them then lay their eggs on emerging vegetation. If you see 2 dragonflies flying in tandem, this is a precursor to mating. In the wheel position, mating is occurring.
- Some dragonflies are prefer perching, others more fliers, that can be a clue to their ID. Different perchers have different ways of perching, again an ID clue.
- In general, some of the most obvious, colorful, and patterned-wing dragonflies you see are in the Skimmer family, so look in that section of our book when identifying.
- Different species of dragonflies are on the wing at different times during the summer, so you will constantly see new ones.
- Male, female and immature dragonflies of the same species can look different, just like birds.