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Airdate: Sep 12, 2011
Scientist: Michael May

Dragonflies - Cape May

Dragonflies - Cape May
Where's a great place to watch dragonflies migrate?

Transcript:
Dragonflies - Cape May

Ambience: river ecosystem, dragonfly wings
JM: This month may be the last chance you'll get to see migrating dragonflies this year. There are certain prime spots for witnessing their migration. In particular, there's one place that's famous for hosting flocks of dragonflies. We'll find out where and why in a moment. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

MM: "Typically in the late summer and in the fall, though September and October, people might begin to notice dragonflies, especially if you live along the beach or a large lake shoreline and along some mountain ranges, you may be able to observe large dragonflies flying more or less north to south. If you're very lucky, you may see a mass migration."

JM: Mike May is an entomologist at Rutgers University.

MM: "As with birds, there are certain places where dragonflies tend to become concentrated during migration. Cape May, New Jersey is one such place. It's very famous among birdwatchers as a migration watch point. It also happens to be a very good place to see dragonflies migrating and also they tend to aggregate there because they have some reluctance to fly across open water. Often you may see swarms of dragonflies that don't seem to be going any place in particular. They may be just feeding, but they may have come from other places further to the north and then sort of funneled down to a point of land such as Cape May. This has been observed in a number of different places along the coastline and on the Great Lakes."

JM: To hear about our new CD, please our website at pulseplanet.com. Pulse of the Planet is made possible by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.