As spring moves northward across North America, so do the migrants. Warblers, geese, hummingbirds, monarch butterflies are starting to appear, as are dragonflies. The common green darner and black saddlebags are two common migrant dragonflies. They are now leaving their overwintering grounds and beginning to return to ponds and wetlands across much of North America. If the daffodils are starting to bloom in your garden, you can start anticipating their arrival.
Although this migration has been known about for well over a century, there are still many questions about it. The Xerces Society and our collaborators in the Migratory Dragonfly Partnership seek to answer these questions, and we need your help.
Pond Watch connects citizens with scientists in a joint effort to gather information about dragonfly migrations. You don't need to be an expert naturalist to participate, just observant and with access to a pond. Pond Watch participants regularly visit a local wetland or pond and note the presence (or absence) of North America's five main migratory species: common green darner, black saddlebags, wandering glider, spot-winged glider, and variegated meadowhawk. By making observations throughout the year, Pond Watch volunteers help us learn more about relationships between resident and migratory members of the same species.
Spring migrants are now on the move. As the weather warms, visit your local pond and let us know which of the five migratory species you observe. We hope you'll join us and other MDP citizen-scientists in our second year of collecting data to help unravel the mysteries of dragonfly migration!
For more information or to register your local pond please visit our Pond Watch web-page.