Anax migration in Brooklyn
- My apologies for the extensive cross-posting and the outdated news, but it
still seems worth forwarding. This is an email report from Richard Preston
(author of The Hot Zone, and possibly still a bit more of an Ebola virus
enthusiast than a dragonfly enthusiast, but coming around somewhat). He
observed a fairly dramatic migration, mostly of Anax junius, on 23 Sept.
2012, mostly in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY. A slightly different version is
scheduled to appear in The New Yorker, in Talk of the Town, next week. Watch
"It was awesome yesterday. Here's what I did. I went to the Verrazano
Bridge, the same place we were at, and saw green darners coming one a time
every minute or two, flying north to south, moving right along. They were
coming straight out of Brooklyn across the Narrows. The wind was 10-15 mph
NNW, and I saw they couldn't be coming from Breezy Point or Coney Island
because those locations are off to the east and southeast of the Narrows.
So they had to be coming from central Brooklyn.
I decided to check out Brooklyn.
My daughter Marguerite lives in Brooklyn, so I texted her to see if she'd
like to walk on the Brooklyn Bridge with me. She texted me back saying she
was having a picnic with friends in Prospect Park. Then she texted me a few
minutes later saying "the park is full of dragonflies."
So I went to Prospect Park. It was awash with green darners. Thousands,
all green darners as far as I could tell. Prospect Park has a kind of
grassy hollow valley that runs the length of the park north to south. The
dragonflies were moving through that valley concentrated on the western lee
side of the valley in sunlit areas. You could see dozens to hundreds in a
glance. They were low, around 2 to 15 ft off the ground in large numbers,
most of them hawking. They were often flying in hollows in the lee side of
trees in the sun. Some individuals were moving southward. It was a
tendency: an individual would turn into the wind, hunt, then drift downwind
to a more southerly location, turn upwind and seem to hunt. The wind was
brisk and carrying them.
The park was full of people. I saw one family with children, and a little
girl and boy were talking: "There are so many dragonflies!"
I saw my daughter and then continued walking north through Grand Army Plaza
and northward into Brooklyn up Flushing Ave, which runs NNW. There I
counted 3 green darners. Two of them were hawking about ten to twenty feet
above heavy car traffic on Flushing Ave. One individual came straight down
Flushing Ave from north to south and I lost sight of it as it flew toward
the Grand Army monument at the north end of Prospect Park.
It was so cool!"
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