Day of the Dragon

To: 'COG' <>
Subject: Day of the Dragon
From: Philip Veerman <>
Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2016 08:44:13 +0000

Interesting ideas. Of course the dragonflies developed their motionless hovering for many millions of years, long before there were any birds to hunt them, and they were the major flying predator, (late in that period there were some small pterosaurs). They did that mainly as a means to hunt other insects and look for sex partners. Even after small birds appeared it is still suiting them well on average.




From: Geoffrey Dabb [
Sent: Tuesday, 20 December, 2016 3:44 PM
Subject: [canberrabirds] Day of the Dragon


I spent an hour yesterday and this morning waiting for a Little Bittern, without any serious expectation of seeing one. Too few bitterns, too much typha.  However there were certainly two different birds calling yesterday.  From the hide this morning one could see at least 5 dragonflies being despatched by busy RWs.  The D-flies seem to be all the one species. I can confirm the RWs can snatch them from the air.  That motionless hovering might be clever, but is not necessarily advantageous from a natural selection viewpoint.  Catching the insects took less time than removing the wings.



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