Swarm Sunday – 8/5/2012 – 8/11/2012

Dragonfly Swarm Project logoLooks like we might be hitting a bit of a lull before the explosion of activity during the migration when it starts in a few weeks.  Not quite as many swarms this week:


Grove Hill, AL
Young, AZ
Arkadelphia, AR
Norwich, CT
Tolland, CT
Naples, ID
Evanston, IL
Orland Park, IL
Richmond, IN
Farmington, ME
Gooserocks Beach, ME (2 reports)
Skowhegan, ME
South Bristol ME
Silver Spring, MD
Westminster, MA
Villa Ridge, MO (2 reports)
Hollis, NH
Lebanon, NH
Londonderry, NH
Tilton, NH
Glen Falls, NY
Saratoga Springs, NY
Tulsa, OK (2 reports)
Westerly, RI
Franklin, TN
Coventry, VT
Hartland, VT
Alexandria, VA
Seattle, WA

There’s still a fair amount of activity in New England, especially in the northern part of the region, but the swarms are spread over a pretty large area this week.   Interesting!  I love watching how these swarms move from place to place from week to week and they definitely seem to be going strong in the northern part of the country at the moment.

I got to see another swarm this week too!  I helped out with a dragonfly and damselfly workshop for teachers offered by the outreach people at my museum (an awesome group of enthusiastic educators, so I was thrilled to be even a limited part of it!) at Weymouth Woods-Sandhill Nature Preserve.  Half of the day was spent indoors learning about dragonflies and damselflies and then the afternoon was spent at a nearby fish hatchery observing dragonflies in the field.  I was asked to talk about my swarm project briefly and had told everyone that it was uncommon to see them and that they shouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t ever see one.  Imagine my delight when we came around the corner at the fish hatchery and saw a swarm right there over the grass!  It was lovely, and very exciting.  I tried to take some photos and reinforced for myself just how hard it is to photograph these things:

Dragonfly swarm

Dragonfly swarm – 5 individuals pictured

Yikes!  I couldn’t get more than a few dragonflies in the frame at one time and this was the best I could do.  Someday I’m going to get a really good shot of this behavior.  Someday…

And finally, the Your Wild Life blog included my project in a blog post about the Public Participation in Scientific Research conference last weekend.  Thank you to Holly Menninger for the support!  And if you all haven’t seen their blog, you should head over there now.  Rob Dunn’s lab is doing some great citizen science and they’re learning some very interesting things about the critters that live on and near us.  They highlight their upcoming and ongoing projects as well as their findings online, so they’re great about sharing their results with their participants.  Great stuff!

Keep looking out for those swarms!


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


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 © TheDragonflyWoman.com


8 thoughts on “Swarm Sunday – 8/5/2012 – 8/11/2012

  1. I am in Westerly RI, near the CT border. I see these things at dusk that look like huge dragonflies. They are up there with the bats, although not quite as high up as the bats. Can dragonflies really be that big? I wish I had binoculars!

    • Yes! Dragonflies can be the size of bats, so you could definitely be seeing dragonflies. I have seen them flying high above my head in a very bat-like fashion at dusk myself. Isn’t it impressive how they fly?

  2. Having a cool swarm of dragonflies in my front yard right now! There are thousands all around my husband as hes cutting the grass

  3. Hi, I am the one from Coventry, Vermont. Our swarm seemed to last another week or so after I sent in the pictures. They are here every year but this was the biggest. On an interesting note, I have had a few dragonflies follow me and “pose” for me as I took photos. I thought I was imagining it when I got lost (hopelessly in 90+ degree weather for over two-1/2 hours) when a beautiful large teal-headed dragonfly showed up in every clearing (bear made) in the corn field as I stumbled along. It hovered in front of me for a bit. I thought it must have been that there were lots of them, but now I am not so sure, since I had another similar experience. I was following it (the autumn one-red) and it landed close to me several times and then allowed me to put my finger a few cm from his face. Then I went in to change lenses on my camera. When I came back out, it had followed me to the door, it seems. I thought, well, if I am not imagining this, I will have another photo opportunity if I just find a place in the garden and sit down. Sure enough. I repeated my move to several locations and he kept landing right in front of me, tilting his head from side to side.

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