Monday, October 16, 2017

Squirrel Cuckoo


5 July 2017 proved to be interesting. The day began with our usual 6 AM bird walk. Dragonfly chasers are much more laid back than birders. Dragonflies don’t fly until much later in the morning. Erika quickly spotted a Squirrel Cuckoo foraging high in the trees above the river at the Villa Lapas Hotel.

Squirrel Cuckoos are common from Mexico south through most of tropical South America. Across this range, the species is highly variable, with 14 races described. Some of these populations are probably distinct species. These cuckoos are found in a variety of forest habitats, gliding from tree to tree. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Muscovy Duck

Strange ducks perched on the trees along the Rio Tarcoles—Muscovy Ducks. Wild Muscovy Ducks range from Mexico south Argentina. Some may wander into the United States. The problem is that feral Muscovy Ducks have been introduced around the world, sort of like chickens and pigeons. Birds in Texas and Florida are probably escaped domestic individuals. One result is that the feral birds are highly variable in plumage and probably should not be counted on birders’ lists.

Muscovy Ducks appeared to be fairly common in Costa Rica. Many roosted in riverside trees as we returned to the dock in the gathering dusk. Across their range, their numbers appear to be somewhat variable. Often populations suffer from over-hunting, egg collecting, and hybridization with domestic populations (Handbook of Birds of the World). 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Double-striped Thick-knee

“Once more bend in the river,” exclaimed our Tarcoles River boat tour captain, “and we will find thick-knees!” In the gathering dusk, sat two Double-striped Thick-knees, birds I very much wanted to see. Thick-knees are thought to be most closely related to plovers. Ten thick-knee species are found around the world. Erika and I saw Peruvian Thick-knees in Peru, a Bush Thick-knee in Australia, and, in my youth in Somalia, my brother and I listed Water Thick-knees, which we jokingly called Zombie Birds. Double-striped Thick-knees have an odd distribution—Veracruz, the Pacific Coast of Central America, and scattered areas of Venezuela and other locals in northern South America.

Thick-knees are crepuscular or nocturnal feeders. They eat insects, worms, mollusks and occasionally lizards and small rodents. Mexicans sometimes keep them around ranches, "where species is held to be a useful controller of insect pests and is kept on patios and in corrals of country houses” (Handbook of Birds ot the World).

Friday, October 13, 2017

Great Blue Heron

Most North American herons and egrets are found in Costa Rica, so I suppose I should not have been surprised to see this Great Blue Heron along the Rio Tarcoles on 4 July 2017. Although they are winter visitors to most of Central and Northern South America, they are year-round residents in Costa Rica. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Banded Garden Spider

Last Monday, this Banded Garden Spider guarded the green-beans at our CSA farm (Community Supported Agricultcure). This view is the bottom side of the spider. This is actually the second species of garden spider (Argiope) we have seen at the farm, the first being a Black-and-Yellow Garden Spider.

Banded Garden Spiders are widely introduced around the world. They prefer fields and prairies. They hang upside-down in their webs, waiting for flying or jumping insects to become entangled. Males die soon after mating. Females last until the end of Autumn. Females lay eggs sacs, each containing about a thousand eggs (Bugguide).

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Wood Stork

Wood Storks loitered along Costa Rica’s Rio Tarcoles on 4 July 2017. Despite their wide range—the southeast United States south along both coasts of Mexico and Central America and continuing south through most of eastern Amazonia—local population show little variation and all belong to a single race. To my disappointment, this species is the only stork we observed during our journey. (I was hoping to find Jabirus, but they remained elusive.) I have posted more information about Wood Storks elsewhere in my blog.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Golden-mantled Howler Monkey

A Golden-mantled Howler Monkey watched as our boat headed up the Rio Tarcoles on 4 July. At first glance, this primate may not seem too pleased with our intrusion. This impression may not be accurate. This species of howler, found from Mexico to the western coasts of Colombia and Ecador, eats more leaves than others (up to just more than 50% of its diet). Leaves are hard to digest, resulting in the monkey’s spending most of their days resting and sleeping.

Golden-mantled Howler Monkeys have a wide variety of sounds, but are most famous for their howls. They sound almost like a low, loud, but distant wind. They can be heard for several kilometers. The sounds are amplified by the monkeys’ hollow hyoid bone, which is near the vocal cords. The calls allow the monkey’s to maintain their sedentary life style. The sounds also allow monkeys to locate each other without risking aggressive confrontations (Wikipedia). This source also reports, “the mantled howler is usually indifferent to the presence of humans. However, when it is disturbed by people, it often express its irritation by urinating or defecating on them. It can accurately hit its observers despite being high in the trees.”

Monday, October 9, 2017

Southern Lapwing

Southern Lapwings are found in much of South America, from Tierra del Fuego north into Nicaragua. Their range has been expanding northward (Costa Rica—1993; Nicaragua—2009; Mexico 1996). Records even exist for Florida and Maryland, although these may be escaped captives (Handbook of Birds of the World). Most of these northern records are of vagrants, but the species now breeds in Costa Rica.

We spied this Southern Lapwing along the shore of the Rio Tarcoles on 4 July. After we left the mangrove swamp, we motored upstream in search of Double-striped Thick-Knees. I very much wanted to see a thick-knee, and the captain of our launch was convinced we would see them upriver.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Boat-billed Heron

Boat-billed Herons inhabit swamps from the coasts of central Mexico south through most of the Amazon Basin. Because they tend to feed at night—note the large eyes—these herons can be illusive. They use their out-sized bill to scoop up prey—fish, crustaceans, insects and amphibians. The herons walk along with their bills half submerged in the water. The bill is thrust forward when prey is encountered (Handbook of Birds of the World). We saw several during our Tarcoles, Costa Rica, mangrove swamp tour on 4 July 2017.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Mangrove Warbler

Yellow Warbler systematics are complex and confusing. Across their range from Alaska and northern Canada through Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies, and including islands out in the eastern Pacific, at least 43 races have been described. These races sort out into some five groups, which often overlap in plumage coloration. Those with chestnut heads, like this one we saw on our 4 July mangrove tour, once were considered to be a separate species—the Mangrove Warbler. Now they are thought to be a race of Yellow Warbler.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Mangrove Hawk


We found these two Mangrove Hawks at a nest along the Rio Tarcoles on 4 July 2017. The bird in the lower photo is an immature. Mangrove Hawks are found along the Pacific Coast of Central  and South America. Most ornithologists consider them to be a race of the Common Black Hawk of the Atlantic Coast. The two populations are so similar, it is not known if the two hybridize where the two forms come into contact in Panama. Crabs form the main component of their diet. They also consume other small vertebrates and scavenge dead fish. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Green Kingfisher

On the afternoon of 4 July, we took a tourist boat trip along the Rio Tarcoles and an adjacent mangrove stream. This Green Kingfisher, a female, judging by her lack of chestnut on her breast, greeted us. Her identity is confirmed by her white wing spots. Green Kingfishers are also found in southern Texas and southern Arizona. From there they range all the way into central Argentina. I was happy to get a photo—my first for the species.

Green Kingfishers mostly dive for small fish. They are uncommon the United States, where they prefer small, clear streams.  They have declined in our country as a result of urban development, loss of natural waterways, and pollution (Moskoff 2002).

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

White-tailed Sylph

The White-tailed Sylph is a dragonfly found from northern South America north through Mexico. A few records exist from Texas and Arizona. We found one at the forest edge at the Carara National Park on 4 July 2017. This dragonfly is fond of forests and clearings. They often frequent streams, but this one is making due with the boggy conditions near the park entrance. This photo is a bit confusing. The objects above the dragonfly’s head belong to the plant rather than to the ode. A sylph, by the way, is a fairy-like spirit of the air (Paulson 2016, A Checklist of North American Odonata).

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Plain Amberwing

Amberwings are small dragonflies, usually with orange wings. Males have relatively plain wings, females can have their wings variously spotted with darker colors. Three species inhabit the United States, and the Eastern Amberwing is common here in Minnesota. Four amberwing species inhabit Costa Rica. One, which I will show you later, has yet to be scientifically described.

This Plain Amberwing awaited us at the end of the Carara trail on 4 July. I was hoping to identify it as a Slough Amberwing, but the legs in this photo are clearly pale-colored—Slough Amberwings have dark legs. Its dark sides argue against its being a Golden Amberwing. Amberwings look similar and are difficult to identify. Most of the amberwings we saw in Costa Rica proved to be Plain Amberwings. In any event, the small size and the black and orange striped abdomens are thought to make these dragonflies mimic wasps. Predators may think twice about attacking.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Owl-Butterfly

Scientists have always assumed that the eyespots of owl-butterflies are there to scare away small, predacious birds. Only in 2015 was this hypothesis confirmed in a study by De Bona et al. The more closely the eyespot resembled the real thing, the more effective it was. Conspicuous spots that looked less like eyes did not work as well.

Caligo, the genus of owl-butterfies, is found from Mexico to South America. This individual is pobably Caligo brasiliensis, but the various species are difficult to tell apart. Owl-butterflies usually fly at dusk, when fewer small birds are around. We found several during our hike on 4 July through the Carara National Park forest.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

White-faced Capuchin

During our 4 July hike in Costa Rica’s Carara National Park, Erika came face-to-face with a small group of White-faced Capuchins.  These New World monkeys are found from Central America to western Colombia and Ecuador. Across its range, these primates are important seed dispersal agents in the rainforests.

Erika thought that the monkeys were just as curious about her as she was of them. Elsewhere, when fed by tourists,  these primates can become a problem, as they beg for food or steal bags and purses in search of food. I have read that, with human contact, the monkeys are susceptible to human disease. These capuchins and Erika, however, amicably parted ways.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Purple-crowned Fairy

Purple-crowned Fairies range from southernmost Mexico through Central America to Colombia and western Ecuador. They inhabit forests and tall, second-growth woodlands. You can also find them in gardens and forest edges. They often pierce flower-bases, taking a shortcut to extracting nectar. This behavior short-changes the flowers, which don’t get pollinated in the process (Arizmendi et al.).

This Purple-crowned Fairy perched motionless, high in the jungle canopy in Carara National Park on 4 July. No other Costa Rican hummingibrd has entirely white underparts.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Varied Dancer

On the morning of 4 July at the Villa Lapas eco-lodge, we photographed this Varied Dancer (Argia adamsi). This damselfly is found from Honduras south into South America. It favors sunny spots along streams (Haber).

This day had a different rhythm. We returned to Carara National Park for a second forest hike. Again the walk was interesting but frustrating. Birds were difficult to see. Dragonflies seemed to be discouraged by intermittent rain showers. Our group was spread out in a long line, making seeing much difficult for those not in the front of the parade. After a lunch, again at the Carara parking lot, we returned to the Tarcoles region, where we took a tourist boat ride into a mangrove swamp. Boat rides are not my favorite occupation. There is too much movement for really good photos, you are usually not very close to your subjects, and it seems like there is always someone blocking your view. We did see some fancy birds, but, again, very few dragonflies. That being written, I will need a couple of weeks to share with you the photos from the Fourth of July.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Streaked Flycatcher

This photo confirms the Handbook of Birds of the World’s assertion that Streaked Flycatchers are tolerant of human and degraded habitats. From scaffolding at the Villa Lapas Hotel on 3 July, this individual made repeated aerial flights after various insects. The species favors cicadas, beetles, wasps, and flying ants. They also take small lizards and a variety of fruits. When not near people, these flycatchers inhabit a variety of forest types and edges. Streaked Flycatchers range from central Mexico to northern South America. They are migratory in the Northern reaches of their distribution.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Ruddy Ground-Dove

Ruddy Ground-Doves greeted us at the Lapas Hotel on  3 July. These doves are ground feeders, common from Mexico to northern South America. Scattered records also exist from the southwestern United States. They eat grass seeds, spilled grain, and other human food. The species adapts to human alteration of the environment and may be expanding in range (Handbook of Birds of the World). 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Red-bordered Stink Bug

A Red-bordered Stink Bug at the Villa Lapas Hotel in western Costa Rica. This species is found from Mexico to Argentina. It eats leaves, occasionally causing drop damage.

Like all animals, stink bugs have three choices in life: hiding, running, or fighting. When it comes to fighting, stink bugs vigorously shake their antenna and secrete repulsive chemicals. Stink bug nymphs are often guarded by ants. The nymphs pay for the ants’ service by secreting sweet droplets, which the ants drink. Stink bugs, nevertheless, are often preyed upon by various ants, wasps, and other bugs (Americaninsects.net).

Monday, September 25, 2017

Turquoise-browed Motmot

Turquoise-browned Motmots are found from southeastern Mexico to Costa Rica. This species is common and conspicuous, often perching in the open as it searches for insects and small reptiles. After a productive afternoon on 3 July in the Tarcoles District of Puntarenas Provencie, Costa Rica, we stopped for supplies and to arrange for a boat tour the next day along the Tarcoles River. We discovered a pair of motmots in the garden of a local store.

Motmots are strange birds. They have racketed tails that they swing back and forth like a clock pendulum. The rackets are formed because the feather vanes are only weakly attached to the shafts. The vanes are not plucked by the birds, but simply detach.

Both sexes sport elaborate tails. Males use their tails to advertise sexual fitness. Males with the longest tails have greater reproductive success. When a predator is nearby, both sexes wag their tails as a “pursuit-deterrent signal.” The predator is warned that it has been seen by the motmot, thus attacks will likely be unsuccessful (Wikipedia).

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Green-eyed Firetail

At the motel pond we visited in Tarcoles District in western Costa Rica on 3 July, we photographed several Green-eyed Firetails, Telebasis isthmica—a gorgeous damselfly. They inhabit temporary rain pools and marshy pastures. The species ranges from Mexico to South America.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Streak-headed Woodcreeper

Woodcreepers used to comprise their own family but many ornithologists now consider them to be a group of ovenbirds (Furnariidae) with stiff tail feathers adapted for tree climbing. Streak-headed Woodcreepers are found from southern Mexico to northern South America. They are common habitat generalists—they are happy in secondary growth and human-modified areas. The first photo was a glimpse of one at the Tarcoles ponds on 3 July. The second is from later in the trip at the Hotel de Campo near Caño Negro.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Common Blue-eye

We saw several Common Blue-eyes (Anatya guttata) around the Tarcoles ponds on 3 July in western Costa Rica. This image is of an immature female. The genus inhabits partially shaded ponds and other waterways (Cresswell).

These are interesting times for neotropical dragonfly watchers. As I have mentioned, dragonflies outside of the United States and Canada lack official common names. Dennis Paulson hopes all this changes in a few years when he publishes his guide to Costa Rican Odonata. Meanwhile, these dragonflies often have different common names. Paulson calls this one the Common Blue-eye, although, like many dragonflies, eye color varies among sex and age classes. Cresswell names this ode the Spotted Anatya—Anatya being the creature’s genus—which, offhand, means little to me. Perhaps a compromise of Spotted Blue-eye might be in order.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck

We have seen Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks in Texas and Florida, where the species is common and expanding its range. This duck is also found in other southern states and in Arizona. Whistling-ducks used to be called tree-ducks, but the Black-bellied is far more often found in trees than are other species of whistling-ducks. Elsewhere in this blog I discussed how birds can sleep with one eye open. I wonder if the opposite eye of each of these birds is closed or open.

Black-bellied Tree Ducks were abundant in western Costa Rica. These two guarded one of the Tarcoles ponds. These ducks range south to northern Argentina (Dale and Thompson 2001).

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Tikal Spreadwing

A Tikal Spreadwing on 3 July 2017 at one of the Tarcoles ponds in Puntarenas Province, Costa Rica. The second photo is of another we saw later on our trip, on 15 July, at La Selva Reserve in Heredia Province. Tikal is the location of famous Mayan ruins in Guatemala, and this species is found from southern Mexico to Panama. This spreadwing is common in many locations across its range

Tikal Spreadwings are found along shallow ponds and marshes in forested areas. They prefer regions that enjoy marked dry and wet seasons. Prolonged drought, however, and deforestation might adversely affect this species (IUC Red List).

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Claret Pondhawk


Claret Pondhawks (Erythemis mithroides) are rarely recorded in the lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas. This dragonfly is found across much of South America, with an isolated population in Central America (Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras). At one time, the northern population was thought to be a different species. But subsequent study revealed that Claret Pondhawks are simply variable across their range (Paulson, per. com.).

Claret Pondhawks patrolled the Tárcoles ponds we visited on 3 July. This pondhawk and others we observed usually faced toward the pond centers—better to see prey and competitors. I am not sure to which population these Costa Rican pondhawks belong.

Monday, September 18, 2017

A Squadron of Pelicans and a Red-banded Gull

What do you call a flock of pelicans? Google suggests a squadron. Considering the smell of a pelican colony, I find that answer somewhat fishy. How about a whiff of pelicans? 14 September found Erika and me at nearby Circle Lake as we took photos of American White Pelicans. A few gulls, Franklin’s and Ring-billed, loafed in front of the pelicans. I noticed one sported red bands on its left leg. A post to the Minnesota Birding FaceBook group drew this response: "Todd Froberg Hi All, I'm a graduate student at the University of Minnesota working on this project. Thanks very much for the report on RBGUs with red bands. They are part of a University of Minnesota study on presence of non-pathogenic avian influenza in gulls. Birds were banded at 3 colonies and at various landfills in MN. We have had reports of gulls we banded as far as Lake Erie and Lake Michigan so far this late summer/fall. The bird in the photo was probably banded at the Rice county landfill. One aspect of the study is to learn about gull movement among different locations in the state, particularly in relation to poultry farms, so your reports and photos are of great help and interest. For more info, send questions/reports to Francie Cuthbert (cuthb001@umn.edu).”

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Shadow Darner

During the last week, a large, dull darner hovered over our water feature. Each time, I ran for my camera, only to have the dragonfly disappear. Friday, 15 September 2017, I caught an image. This observation is not my first for a Shadow Darner in the backyard. In an earlier post, I commented about this species’s cold tolerance.

The species deposits eggs into “wet, rotting wood of a floating log or a partially submerged log” (Mead). This day the darner behaved strangely. It repeatedly returned to the dry, mossy edge of our artificial pond and appeared to deposit her eggs along a crease along the pond wall, The eggs seemed to be placed deep into the mossy mat about four inches above the high waterline.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Band-winged Dragonlet

Band-winged Dragonlets were fairly common along the Tárcoles ponds on 3 July 2017. This observation was not the first time we’ve seen this dragonfly. The first was in southern Texas on 18 March 2012. Judging by their numbers in Texas, Band-winged Dragonlets may be partially migratory. They are abundant in the tropics, from Argentina north into the United States (to Ohio, Georgia, and Florida). Look for them low in the grass or as they fly over ponds (Paulson).

Friday, September 15, 2017

Three-striped Dasher

These male (above) and female (below) Three-striped Dashers are from the Tárcoles district of Costa Rica. This dragonfly ranges from the southern tip of Texas to northern South America and from southern tip of Florida through the West Indies. They tend to perch in the shade, often with their wings drooped down. Their breeding biology is poorly known—males are found at or over water, while females stay further away. Pairs copulate in woodlands away from water (Paulson).

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Northern Jaçana

Almost every day during our Costa Rican trip, we saw at least a few new dragonflies (as to be expected on a dragonfly tour). Several days, however, were outstanding. The afternoon of 3 July was one of those mega-days. We explored two freshwater ponds in the Tárcoles District near the Pacific Ocean. The ponds were quite different, one surrounded by forest and the other beside a motel in the outskirts of the village of Tárcoles. I have combined these locations in my posts.

But first a bird—Northern Jaçanas greeted us at the motel pond. Everything about jaçanas is interesting. The cedilla hanging below the c in jaçana is often found in French and is pronounced like an “s” rather than a “k,” as in façade or garçon.

Northern Jaçanas range from coastal Mexico south to Panama. Occasionally they stray into eastern Texas. Note the yellow spurs, outgrowths of their wrist (carpometacarpus) bones. These are displayed during courtship. These structures are not unique to jaçanas, some plovers also have them.

Female jaçanas are larger than their males and their sex roles are reversed. Males build the nest, incubate, and bood their young. Females rarely brood the chicks. The females mate simultaneously with up to four males. The females defend their mates' nests against other females and other male jaçanas. This polyandry occurs in rich habitat. In poorer habitat, male territories tend to be larger, the result being their females may mate with fewer or just one male (Birds of North America).

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Lemon-tipped Helicopter

As I recall, Netta Smith saw a Lemon-tipped Helicopter (Mecistogaster ornata) first thing at Carara National Park, but nobody else saw it. After our lunch, she found it again. Photographing Lemon-tipped helicopters, as these damselflies row lazily through the air, is nearly impossible. No structure is visible to the camera’s autofocus. I took this photo with manual focus.

These elegant odes are sometimes called Ornate Helicopters or Yellow-tipped Helicopters—no official common names exist for most Costa Rican dragonflies. They range in tropical woodlands from Mexico to northwestern Argentina. Like the Blue-winged Helicopter, these dragonflies are web-spider specialists. Apparently the yellow wing spots distract the spiders before they are captured. Lemon-tipped Helicopters also eat insects trapped in spider webs. These damselflies lay their eggs in water-filled holes in trees (ICN Red List).

Monday, September 11, 2017

Blue-eyed Setwing


Back at the tour bus for a picnic lunch on 3 July at Carara National Park. With our bee allergies, picnicking can be a bit dicey. We ate quickly and searched the parking area for more dragonflies. This Blue-eyed Setwing (Dythemis nigra) perched at the forest edge. The species is known from northeastern Mexico (almost to the United States) south through most of Brazil. This habitat is typical for the species. Males perch on dry stems and survey their territories (Benoit.Guillon).

Sunday, September 10, 2017

White-whiskered Puffbird

Also attending the army ant swarm on 3 July at Carara National Park was a male White-wiskered Puffbird. Puffbirds are neotropical birds related to Jacamars and, more distantly, to woodpeckers. The White-wiskered Puffbird inhabits forests from southeastern Mexico to Ecuador. Males are more rufous than females. Puffbirds perch quietly, occasionally capturing insects, frogs, or lizards. White-wiskered Puffbirds are known to join mixed species flocks around army ant swarms (Cornell).

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Bicolored vs White-cheeked Antbirds

Bicolored Antbirds are common across their range. This bird is an obligate army ant follower. As the ants move through the forest, they stampede a host of invertebrates in front of the swarm. Army ant followers pick off the stampeding invertebrates, leaving the army ants alone. Bicolored Antbirds also take small frogs and lizards.
Two disjunct populations exist—one from Honduras south to northern Colombia and western Ecuador; the other in upper Amazonia, from southeast Colombia to north-central Peru. Erika and I worked with Bicolored Antbirds in Ecuador. I am surprised I have not shared a photo of the Ecuadorian bird with this blog. Note the bird in the second photo. Unlike the Costa Rican bird in the first photo, the Amazonian bird is white below the eye; behind the eye is black, not brown; the upper-parts are richer chestnut; and the calls are different. Genetic studies show that the two populations are not closely related.

eBird, presumably following the American Ornithological Society, now classifies my Ecuadorian bird as the White-cheeked Antbird (Gymnopithys leucaspis) and the Costa Rican one as the Bicolored Antbird (Gymnopithys bicolor). When we saw our Costa Rican bird at the furthest point of our jungle hike on 3 July at a bridge over a small river, we had no idea we were adding a life bird to our lists. One thing for sure, the ground was swarming with ants!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Broad-winged Hawk and Darners

On Thursday, 7 September, Erika and I strolled in the Carleton College arboretum in Rice County. Swarms of darners flew over the prairie. Most, as one might expect, were migratory Common Green Darners. One, however, was the Green-striped Darner in the second photo. This record is only my second for this species. Curiously my first sighting was only several hundred yards disrtant, and almost exactly two years ago. We also saw several Red Saddlebags, but they proved impossible to photograph.
A Broad-winged Hawk circled above the darner swam. These hawks are opportunistic feeders, and they are known to take various insects. To my surprise, dragonflies are not mentioned as being among the hawk’s prey in The Birds of North America. Hawk Mountain’s website, however, informs us that “During migration, broadwings will feed opportunistically on insects, including migrating dragonflies…”