[Tweeters] Dragonflies

McComb Gardens info at mccombgardens.com
Wed Aug 13 14:01:51 PDT 2014

Purple Martins catch and eat dragonflies.

Witnessed at the Martin nesting boxes at 3 Crabs (Sequim) Monday.

The boxes are very active.



Neil W. Burkhardt

Jane Stewart

751 McComb Road

Sequim, WA 98382-7882

info at mccombgardens.com <mailto:info at mccombgardens.com>


www.mccombgardens.com <http://www.mccombgardens.com/>

From: tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu
[mailto:tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Jeff Gibson
Sent: Monday, August 11, 2014 4:30 PM
To: tweeters
Subject: [Tweeters] Falcons and Bugs

Thanks to Barb Deihl for sharing anecdotes about watching Merlins nabbing
flying dragonflies - something I've yet to see myself, but hope to someday
.I was about to say that I've never seen any other kind of bird nab a flying
dragon, but I just remembered, I did see a Canyon Wren pounce on one fair -
sized one just taking off of a Bald Cypress root down on Cibolo Creek , in
Boerne Texas, so I guess that counts. If you see a Canyon Wren and a Bald
Cypress together, you might be in Texas.

Back to falcons and bugs (this could've been titled 'Fords and Volkswagen's'
if tweeters was a car site).

I have seen Falcons eating bugs - grasshoppers. I mentioned this last fall
after watching Kestrels diving for what I presumed were grasshoppers as they
were coming back to perch and eat something a bit too small to see from the

Rob Sandelin posted me back about being surrounded by Kestrels bloated by
feeding on swarms of giant grasshoppers in the Napeequa Valley one year.
Sounded pretty cool.

That reminded me of the first time I saw this phenomenon, way back in 1974
when I worked at Mt. Rainier. It was the first week of September and I was
out hiking all around the Sunrise area, and came across a quite a number of
grasshopper-eatin' Kestrels.

By that time of year the grasshoppers had eaten their way up the meadows
until they were concentrated on the top of Sourdough ridge, which happened
to be about the perfect place for a Kestrel to catch a draft and engage in
bug catching. I watched this for hours.

The updrafts were such that a Kestrel could sit perfectly still in the sky
without flapping. A video of this phenomenon wouldn't show much more than
still photograph would. Neat.

I'd read (in an old source I can't find again) about the nice raptor
migration at Sunrise in the last week of August and the first week of
September, and found it to be true. Not big numbers, but quite a variety of
stuff cruising by - both Eagles, Red-tails, all the Accipiters,

Prairie Falcon, and an Osprey.

The bird of the trip though, was a beautiful dark phase Swainson's Hawk seen
up-close as it perched in a nearby fir just below us. "The Chocolate Hawk" I
pronounced it.

By the way, according to Seattle Audubon's Birdweb, the Swainson's Hawk
counts both grasshoppers and dragonflies as a major part of its diet during
winter and migration.

Jeff Gibson

bugging you again, from

Port Townsend Wa

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