Sunday, July 14, 2013

Band-winged Meadowhawk

One of the intriguing aspects of learning to identify odonates (dragonflies and damselflies) is the infancy of the sport. Many odonates are difficult to identify and, until recently, have been to provenance of experts. With a bit of hard work, perseverance, and patient tutelage, most species can be identified. 

Erika and I encountered these Band-winged Meadowhawks at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. This species was abundant along parts of the arboretum’s auto-route. One fence-line, as you can see in the top photo, served as a perch for several dozen meadowhawks. We had seen this species before at Lake Byllesby Regional Park in Dakota County and I have previously blogged about them. 

Entering our observation in Odonata Central, the on-line dragonfly data base, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that our record on Friday was a first for Carver County! Odonata Central is also a good place to look up identification tips and photos of North American dragonflies. Records submitted to Odonata Central are vetted by regional experts before the sightings are accepted. Odonata Central gives you, as a citizen scientist, the opportunity to add to the scientific data base. 

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