Fort Tilden Migration Data

Fort Tilden is located along the beach near the western end of Long Island. Migration is conspicuous and easily viewed here due to the concentrating effect of the ocean and the narrow Rockaway peninsula. Data on southbound dragonfly migration has been gathered here since 1992. Studies were originaly done in conjunction with the hawk watch and, as it was learned that the greatest variety of species preceded the hawk migration, took on their own life. Presented in the table below are the earliest and latest date that each species has been recorded in migratory activity. The peak of each species' flight can be infered from the record daily high. Keep in mind that these numbers represent only a cross section of the flight. Dragonflies, especially the smaller species, must pass close to the observer to be seen and properly identified. Also, the Green Darner number is even more understated. This species is most abundant in conjunction with major hawk flights in mid September and has not been counted at that time.

  Early Date Late Date Daily High Date
Green Darner 27 July 14 Nov 1055 25 Aug 1995
Swamp Darner 21 July 24 Sept 754 10 Aug 1996
Eastern Pondhawk 13 Aug 2 Sept 9 28 Aug 1994
Twelve-spotted Skimmer 27 July 1 Oct 990 10 Aug 1996
Painted Skimmer 27 July 30 Aug 35 29 July 1997
Great Blue Skimmer 27 July 15 Sep 29 10 Aug 1996
Common Whitetail 10 Aug 10 Aug 2 10 Aug 1996
Blue Dasher 27 July 8 Oct 207 1 Aug 1998
Wandering Glider 21 July 13 Oct 2420 30 July 1995
Spot-winged Glider 21 July 29 Oct 512 27 July 1996
Carolina Saddlebags 27 July 22 Oct 24 29 July 1997*
Black Saddlebags 27 July 25 Oct 251 28 Aug 1994
Yellow-legged Meadowhawk 28 Sept 25 Oct 7 22 Oct 1994
Also recorded: 1 Calico Pennant 23 Aug 1995 in a swarm of migrants -- not definitively migrating but the nearest breeding site is miles away; 1 Comet Darner 29 Aug 1997 not in the act of migrating -- again the nearest breeding site is a considerable distance away; 1 Bar-winged Skimmer 18 June 1995 at a small fresh water pond -- this species does not reach New York in most years; *This date atypical of Carolina Saddlebags peak, which is normally late August.