Skip Navigation LinksOdes For Beginners : How to Watch Odonates

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Watching Odonates

Viewing dragonflies can be done with the naked eye, but I would strongly recommend a pair of close focusing binoculars to make the job easier. Many species can be identified in the wild, but some troublesome species cannot be told apart without in-hand inspection. Some observers choose to catch these and examine them closely. Others choose to enjoy them without putting a name on them.

Dragonflies can be seen perched, either for long or short periods of time. Most perch close to water, hanging on twigs or floating vegetation, or flat on the ground or rocks. Others will soar to great heights or patrol rapidly over the water and are almost impossible to observe. Each species tends to have its own unique set of behaviors.

Some odes are more easily startled than others. Dragonflies are very aware of movement, as anyone who has tried to catch one can tell you. They have the ability to see in many directions at the same time due to their large compound eyes. But their ability to see behind them is limited. So, if you need to approach one, my best advice to you is to approach from the rear.

Your quiet presence will usually not disturb the dragonfly's normal behavior. Take a seat and give them some time to settle back into their normal routine. But be ready if one lands on you or next to you, you'll never get a better look.

Want to know where and when to look for dragonflies?
Do you wonder about what equipment you may need?
Curious about catching odes for a better look or collecting them?
Wonder why they each have a "common name" and another strange sounding name?

Click on the links at the left for everything you need to know to know to get you going in this hobby!

Then go to Identifying Odonates, explore Odonate Biology to learn abut their life cycles and behavior, or just browse our Photo Galley or Resources.

© 2021 Sheryl Chacon Search