Swarm Sunday: 6/22/14 to 7/5/14

Dragonfly Swarm Project logo

I didn’t have a chance to post last week, so what you see here represents two weeks of data.  Swarm reports came from the following locations:

USA:

Leesburg, FL
Miami Beach, FL
Milton, FL
Parkland, FL
Livermore, ME
Marbury, MD
West Bend, MD
Lakeway, TX
Ogden, UT
Williamsburg, VA

And here are the maps for the last two weeks:

6.22.14 to 6.28.14

6/22/14 through 6/28/14

6.29.14 to 7.5.14

6/29/14 through 7/5/14

 

Red pins are static swarms, yellow pins are migratory. Click the map to enlarge!

It continues to be a little slow so far this year, though there was one migratory swarm reported from Utah this week, which is exciting.  There has been rather consistent activity in the southeastern part of Texas over the last month, though nothing really extraordinary seems to be happening anywhere so far.  Hurricane Arthur didn’t even seem to stir anything up!  I’m still hoping things will pick up soon, but you never know.

One thing has disturbed me though.  In the past several years, green darners have made appearances in swarms over and over again.  They often form the bulk of swarms.  This year, very few people have described anything that sounds like a green darner from their swarms.  I’ve also started to hear some ominous rumblings on the odonate listservs and Facebook pages where people have started to ask where the green darners are this year.  People have really started to notice their near absence, which isn’t good.  We typically have a lot of darners at the pond at the field station where I work, but this year I haven’t seen many at all, maybe 5 or 6 total.  At this time of year, we should have 5-6 on the pond every day, not 5-6 for the entire season!  There’s always a chance things are just terribly late this year and things will normalize at some point, but I’ve personally noticed some weird things happening this year.  Monarchs are out in North Carolina in droves right now, and they’re normally long gone for the heat of the summer, having migrated further north.  The common milkweed is going absolute gangbusters, but there are several conspicuously common butterflies (eastern tiger swallowtails and pipevine swallowtails among them) that are well below their normal numbers this year.  Fireflies are STILL out here, and the June bugs emerged a week or two early.  Have any of you noticed similar things out of whack in your area?  I shouldn’t extrapolate what I’m seeing in North Carolina to the rest of the country, even the rest of the east coast, but I’ve heard enough from other entomologists on social media to think that this is going to be an odd year.  It will be interesting to see if this ends up being a weird swarming year too!

Keep reporting those swarms!  Was very pleased to see swarm reports from several regular readers over the last couple of weeks.  Thanks everyone!!

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Have you seen a dragonfly swarm? I am tracking swarms so I can learn more about this interesting behavior.  If you see one, I’d love to hear from you!  Please visit my Report a Dragonfly Swarm page to fill out the official report form.  It only takes a few minutes! Thanks!

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Want more information? Visit my dragonfly swarm information page for my entire collection of posts about dragonfly swarms!

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Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © C. L. Goforth

Swarm Sunday: 6/15/14 to 6/21/14

Dragonfly Swarm Project logo

Another slow week for dragonfly swarms this week.  I received reports from the following locations::

USA:

Panama City, FL
Petersburg, FL
South Pasadena, FL
Walker, MN
Gastonia, NC

And here’s the map:

6.15.14 to 6.21.14

 

Red pins are static swarms, yellow pins are migratory. Click the map to enlarge!

Almost every swarm reported this week was in the south, with the exception of the one lone report from Minnesota.  I’m hoping things will start picking up this week, but I guess I’ll just have to see what the week brings!

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Have you seen a dragonfly swarm? I am tracking swarms so I can learn more about this interesting behavior.  If you see one, I’d love to hear from you!  Please visit my Report a Dragonfly Swarm page to fill out the official report form.  It only takes a few minutes! Thanks!

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Want more information? Visit my dragonfly swarm information page for my entire collection of posts about dragonfly swarms!

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Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © C. L. Goforth

Swarm Sunday: 6/8/14 to 6/14/14

Dragonfly Swarm Project logo

It was a slow week for dragonfly swarms again this week.  The only reports came from the following locations::

USA:

Fryeburg, ME
Matthews, NC
Eugene, OR
Walla Walla, WA

And here’s the map:

 

6.8.14 to 6.14.14

Red pins are static swarms, yellow pins are migratory. Click the map to enlarge!

The swarm season seems to be getting off to a slow start, but that’s not entirely unexpected.  Everything in NC is about 2 weeks later than normal this year, and I expect a bit of a slow start every year anyway before things really start to pick up in July.  Still, if you see a swarm next week, I hope you’ll consider reporting it.  Every sightings makes a difference!

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Have you seen a dragonfly swarm? I am tracking swarms so I can learn more about this interesting behavior.  If you see one, I’d love to hear from you!  Please visit my Report a Dragonfly Swarm page to fill out the official report form.  It only takes a few minutes! Thanks!

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Want more information? Visit my dragonfly swarm information page for my entire collection of posts about dragonfly swarms!

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Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © C. L. Goforth

Swarm Sunday (on Tuesday – ouch…): 6/1/14 to 6/7/14

Dragonfly Swarm Project logo

Had company staying at my house all weekend, so this is the first chance I’ve had to get this up. But here it is! Swarms were reported in the following locations over the past week:

USA:

Mt. Olive, IL

And here’s the map:

6.1.14 to 6.7.14

 

Red pins are static swarms, yellow pins are migratory. Click the map to enlarge!

Woo!  That was exciting, wasn’t it?!  Clearly, it was a bit of a slow week for dragonfly swarms.  Here’s hoping next week will be more exciting!

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Have you seen a dragonfly swarm? I am tracking swarms so I can learn more about this interesting behavior.  If you see one, I’d love to hear from you!  Please visit my Report a Dragonfly Swarm page to fill out the official report form.  It only takes a few minutes! Thanks!

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Want more information? Visit my dragonfly swarm information page for my entire collection of posts about dragonfly swarms!

_______________

Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © C. L. Goforth

Swarm Sunday (on Monday): 1/1/14 to 5/31/14

Dragonfly Swarm Project logo

It’s time once again to start posting Swarm Sunday posts, though I’m a day late on the first one.  Things have been about average so far this year, with the usual handful of swarms that have occurred already.  So far this year, swarms have been reported in the following locations:

USA:

Palm Desert, CA
Sacramento, CA (2 swarms)
Ft. Myers Beach, FL
Sanford, NC
Vass, NC
Wake Forest, NC
Wilmington, NC (2 swarms)
Winston-Salem, NC (2 swarms)
Alexandria, VA

Australia:

Two Rocks, WA

And here’s the map:

dragonfly swarms 1.1.14 to 5.31.14

Red pins are static swarms, yellow pins are migratory. Click the map to enlarge!

As you can see, the bulk of the activity so far has occurred on the east coast, specifically in my own state of NC.  Now, I’ll admit that it’s hard to tell if that is because there really have been more swarms here than in any other state or because I’m here and talk about my project with a lot of people, so there are a lot of people out looking for swarms.  It will be interesting to see what happens over the next month or so!  Normally I’d expect to see more swarms in the Deep South, especially Florida, by now, but there’s just been one report from that part of the country.  Interestingly, there have already been three reports made from California, which usually doesn’t get many swarms at all.  I’ll be keeping and eye out on California this year to see if it’s a higher than average year there or not.

The swarm season is just now getting started, so start looking out for swarms!  If you see one, follow the link below to report it.  It just takes a few moments, and every bit of data improves the story I’ll be able to tell once I start publishing all this.  And, because this is my fifth year of data collection, I’m going to start publishing after this season.  I hope it’s a great season!

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Have you seen a dragonfly swarm? I am tracking swarms so I can learn more about this interesting behavior.  If you see one, I’d love to hear from you!  Please visit my Report a Dragonfly Swarm page to fill out the official report form.  It only takes a few minutes! Thanks!

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Want more information? Visit my dragonfly swarm information page for my entire collection of posts about dragonfly swarms!

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Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © C. L. Goforth

Swarm Sunday: 9/29/2013 – 10/5/2013

Dragonfly Swarm Project logo

There are still some swarm reports coming in, but things were pretty slow again this week.  Swarms were reported from these locations:

USA:

DeSoto, MO
Raleigh, NC
Utica, OH
Astoria, OR
Newport, OR
Yachats, OR
Charleston, SC
Pearland, TX
Falls Church, VA

And here’s the map:

Swarm map 9.29.13 to 10.5.13Red pins are static swarms, blue pins are migratory. Click the map to enlarge!

This week was a little surprising to me, for two reasons.  First, there were more reports than I expected, and nearly all of them came from northern regions of the country.  I didn’t expect to get any swarm reports from the northern US for the rest of the year.  Second, there was a second migration on the west coast with thousands more dragonflies flying down the Oregon coast over the last few days.  That seems odd, especially considering the migratory movement down the coat in August was so huge.  I didn’t think there would even be that many dragonflies left!  But there were multiple reports, so it was a big enough event for people to notice.

On the home front, we had a few cool days last week and the dragonflies all but disappeared.  I thought they were gone for the year, that we’d just see a few more here and there.  Then, it warmed back up and a few days later I saw my first swarm of the year!  There were massive numbers of little flies and other flying insects darting around over the grass as the sun began sinking toward the horizon and the dragonflies were eagerly taking advantage of the bounty.  It wasn’t a very big swarm, just a dozen individuals, but I was still excited as I haven’t seen a swarm all year in spite of going out to look for them every time I felt the conditions were right.  There was also a big bunch of chimney swifts flying up above the dragonflies.  I never saw a swift go after a dragonfly, so I can only presume that they were eating the same insects as the dragonflies.  This behavior is reported for swifts and swallows all the time, so it’s nice to see it in person from time to time.

The season is likely really over in the areas of the country that had blizzards last week, but apparently there are still a lot of dragonflies out and about in other areas.  Report any swarms you see!  This season has proven to be very strange, but really interesting, so I’m eager to get as many late season swarm reports as I can!

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Have you seen a dragonfly swarm? I am tracking swarms so I can learn more about this interesting behavior.  If you see one, I’d love to hear from you!  Please visit my Report a Dragonfly Swarm page to fill out the official report form.  It only takes a few minutes! Thanks!

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Want more information? Visit my dragonfly swarm information page for my entire collection of posts about dragonfly swarms!

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Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © C. L. Goforth

Swarm Sunday: 9/22/2013 – 9/28/2013

Dragonfly Swarm Project logo

Well, it was another slow week for dragonfly swarms last week!  Swarms were reported from these locations:

USA:

Augustine, FL
Cape San Blas, FL
Panama City Beach, FL
St. Albans, NY
Soddy Daisy, TN
Comfort, TX
Port Aransas, TX (2 reports)
San Leon, TX

And here’s the map:

9.22.13 - 9.28.13

Red pins are static swarms, blue pins are migratory. Click the map to enlarge!

As you can see, the bulk of the activity (what little there was) occurred in the southern parts of the US, with only a few reports from anything more than a few miles from a southern coast.  Considering most of the swarms reported this week were migratory, and most of them occurred in the southern US, I am now mostly convinced that the migration is almost over and we will see very little additional swarm activity until next summer.  I’ll likely get a few more reports trickling in over the next couple of weeks, but it looks like things are slowing down for the winter.

Still, if you see a swarm, report it!  There are still some dragonflies out and about and you never know where there might be a swarm!

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Have you seen a dragonfly swarm? I am tracking swarms so I can learn more about this interesting behavior.  If you see one, I’d love to hear from you!  Please visit my Report a Dragonfly Swarm page to fill out the official report form.  It only takes a few minutes! Thanks!

_______________

Want more information? Visit my dragonfly swarm information page for my entire collection of posts about dragonfly swarms!

_______________

Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © C. L. Goforth