Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Dragonfly swarms, of epic scope and scale!

 An admittedly poor shot, but it shows seven or so of the thousands (probably) of common green darners, Anax junius, in a massive feeding swarm just before sunset tonight. Via Facebook and other sources, I saw reports coming in from all over Ohio of big dragonfly swarms, so I ran over to a nearby farm in Columbus, Franklin County, that has lots of meadows and open space. Sure enough, as soon as I entered through the gates, dragonflies appeared.

There's just no way to make any sort of semi-exact estimate of rapidly flying and darting insects on this epic a scale, but as dragonflies were everywhere I went on this property, and I saw hundreds and maybe a thousand+ in my very limited coverage, there were certainly thousands of dragonflies across the whole property, I'd say.

Every dragonfly I could clap eyes on well enough to identify was a common green darner (this shot of a male in flight from several years ago). From other reports of today, this seems to be the primary species involved in the massive migration. Other species, such as gliders and saddlebags, can intermix with these swarms, though.

I've written about these swarms before, such as HERE, HERE, and HERE. Many people made comments on those posts, reporting additional swarms. If you saw such a swarm today or recently, or in the days to come, please leave a comment. Be sure to note at a bare minimum, the county, state if not Ohio, and a rough guess at how many dragonflies were present. If you know dragonfly identification and can say what species were involved, all the better.

36 comments:

cass said...

Love your blogs , beyond that Friday my dendrology class observed a swarm of common farmer dragonflies that easily numbers in several thousands in flood plains of Hocking College in Nelsonville , Athens County, Ohio at about 2pm 9/6/2019. I have no idea where they came from now where they traveled to . It was such a remarkable sight that I spent a good 1/2 observing dragonflies in lue of the woody floodplain species I intended on observing . That said we also knocked out the hackberry, Ohio buckeye, eastern cottonwood, box elder maple, silver maple black and sandbar willows and the buttonbush in the time remaining

Unknown said...

Dragonflies were indeed SWARMING in the area near Bedford Reservation in Southeast Cuyahoga County, both in the parks and in the residential areas (my backyard, for example). It was AWESOME to be hold. I tried to photos and a video, but it was very difficult to catch them clearly.

Anonymous said...

Tonight at about 6:15pm, I observed nearly one hundred dipping and darting in my yard just west of Lake Logan in Hocking County, Ohio. I've see them twice there now. All green darners by the looks of it.

Anonymous said...

I saw many Dragon flies last night outside of Frankfort/Ross County.

Robert Wheeler said...

Hundreds if not thousands on our farm in Erie county OH. Milan Twp.

Unknown said...

As I drove into my long driveway after work it was tough to not notice the number of dragons I was seeing. I stopped about 200 ft into the drive and looked...hundreds! I jumped out to grab my bins from the trunk and enjoyed watching huge darners hunting up and down my drive and across the acres of soybeans. After 10 minutes of enjoyment I went into the house and out the back door; they were all over the place including right above my patio! I soon posted an alert on Facebook for friends to take a peek outside. I said to my husband, “I’m surprised there aren’t any birds out enjoying this show as well!” Soon though I saw Common Nighthawks on the wing and in total three showed up for dinner, one swooping in low above me for his snack. What a fun evening! Not only Green Darners but also Eastern Pondhawks And Common Amberwing were among my dragons, but mainly Green Darners.

Erin said...

Heidelberg, Pennsylvania. Started around 5:45p ended when the sun went down.

Sarah said...

There was a swarm feeding last evening (9/10) at Sugarcreek MetroPark (Greene County, Ohio). This was on the prairie in front of the park. Hundreds of them, all Common Green Darners from what I could see.

Jo Thompson said...

So many in motion. But the iridescent color of the common green darners was certainly in there. We had them in northern Marion County. Our back yard was a cloud, with no beginning or end in sight. We stayed out among them for about 45 minutes. They were there when we came out (about 6:30 PM) and there when we went inside. Amazing. It was a strange feeling to observe. But stranger still was checking in on FB and seeing people talk about them all across Ohio. What an event!

Dachshund Mom said...

Saw them on the 10th in Willowick, Lake County, Ohio at sunset right on Lake Erie

ArtsyFartsy said...

I couldn't tell you exactly where we were because we were meandering the south-central Indiana back roads, but we were passing open farmland and fields of the usual fall flowers--goldenrod, ironweed, etc. and saw scores of dragonflies darting in and out.

Anonymous said...

We had a swarm in our front yard last evening. Wapakoneta, Ohio, Auglaize County.

ALICE COOK said...

Marshall County West Virginia: Hundred in my yard in the northern panhandle of WV. Just across the river from Ohio.

Unknown said...

West Jefferson, OH: swarms of dragonflies (did not identify species) observed in our lawn last evening (Sept. 10).

Anonymous said...

Hundreds in Richland County late yesterday! It was amazing!

Anonymous said...

Maybe 100 or so on my property last night - Galena, Oh. Property backs up to Little Walnut Creek

Anonymous said...

I had swarm of more than 1000 Common Green Darners on my paririe and wetlands in Crawford County last night.

Unknown said...

Saw a swarm in Montgomery county Ohio. On Frederick Pike, exit from the Five Rivers Metro park, Englewood dam.

Jeff Craig said...

As I mowed with the Kubota tractor on Friday in Highland County about a mile due north of Fort Hill, I witnessed dozens and dozens of dragonflies. So many that I stopped to take a picture. I have a 2 acre pond so I always see some but not like this past week. I mow several acres and have 2 hayfields that haven't been cut since Memorial Day. They are bursting with ironweed and goldenrod. I initially thought that maybe since the barn swallows have migrated south already, the dragonflies were opportunistic. But the posts that I've been seeing all week around Ohio suggest other factors. Perhaps, the large amounts of rain earlier this summer provided more water? If they do swarm and migrate every year around this time, I've never noticed and I think this year must be a spike in their population and it's very cool!

Anonymous said...

Dozens of Common Green Darners swarmed around our Columbus home last night about 5:15.

Annely said...

I saw thousands, in Painesville Township (Lake County, OH), at about 5:30 pm on September 10, 2019. As soon as I turned onto Paradise Road in my car, I saw them everywhere. https://youtu.be/sP53x9KNl0Y

Anonymous said...

Swarm Wilmington Ohio on Sunday

Anonymous said...

There have been swarms over the past couple days in Miami County, Ohio near Pleasant Hill.

Robyn said...

Monday, 9/9/19 I was sitting outside in my yard in Brookville, OHIO (southwest rural) reading around 7:00 when I noticed at least 50-60 dragonflies zipping around everywhere. I had never seen anything like it, and wondered if it was an eruption. They looked similar to the one pictured. I enjoyed watching them for the next hour or so until it began to get dark. My husband had been in Troy Ohio around the same time, and before I could mention anything, he hopped out of his car telling me about the hundred of dragonflies he had seen in a field in Horseshoe Rd. I mentioned it the next day to a friend at a local nature walk and he kindly sent me this link. Awesome to have some answers to such an amazing spectacle.

Rick licking co said...

southeast licking county hundreds in our 1.5 acre yard see them every year but these numbers were much larger. Was driving home from Newark and even saw them from the car. Today at our weekly Panera,brother said he saw hundreds at his place,NE Licking and neice living in southern Knox had hundreds in her yard. Saw some today but not the same numbers.

Unknown said...

Chatham University, Eden Hall campus Gibsonia PA

Jared G said...

9/10/2019 6pm 100+ in Union County. Green Darners and some saddlebags. 8-10 Nighthawks joined the frenzy too!!

Anonymous said...

Clark county as well! Hundreds over the 2.5 acres along with five nighthawks! Been around for several days now.

Jim McCormac said...

Thank you all very much for your comments and reports! Between here and other sources, I've compiled about 175 individual swarm reports, from all parts of the state. There are probably hundreds of other reports, too, and from scores from surrounding states. I'm going to write a piece on this dragonfly swarm phenomenon, and post it here before too long.

Cathy.Sutherland said...

I had a swarm of 100 to 200 of not more in my back yard on the 9th at about 4:30 5:00 p.m. Clinton County Ohio.

Anonymous said...

Dragonflies swarming right now in Piedmont West Virginia!

Angie said...

Licking County near Buckeye Lake we had a swarm of them in our backyard probably about 100 or so just flying all over.

Becki said...

At LEAST 50 in my small fenced back yard. Every evening since September 10th. In New Lexington Ohio.

bswys said...

September 10th Early evening. Northern Delaware County. I would guess thousands. Vibrant green Big bodies(approx 3 in.) My husband and I watched them for an hour or more. They never seemed to land or stop. I have a decent 30 sec. video.

Rsuehue said...

Shelby county 9/21/19 and an evening the prior week. 500-700 over lawn and surrounding corn fields.

Anonymous said...

500 plus in my yard in Mineral Springs Adam County, swarming as I mowed the acreage. Taking advantage of what I was stirring up. Sep 7th. Really something to see.

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