Natural history observations of tiger beetles, butterflies, monarch butterfies, and other animals as well as environmental notes by Charlie Bear.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Dragonflies and butterflies at Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge
On Tuesday, November 18, I visited the beautiful Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge near the Town of Willows in the Central Valley. An amazing diversity and abundance of migratory waterfowl and other birds, like hawks. But I was most surprised to see 22 male green darner dragonflies, 3 variegated meadowhawk dragonflies, 1 pygmy blue butterfly (Brephidium exilis), 1 alfalfa sulphur butterfly, and 3 checkered skippers. The majority of the darners appeared to be searching for females among the grasses and water plants along a small creek near the refuge headquarters. According to my field notes, the latest sighting of darners in the Central Valley I made in 2006 and 2007 was in late October. Two of the meadowhawks were a mating pair laying eggs in a small pool.
I work in the wildlife protection field. Mainly endangered species. My favorite endangered species are the California tiger salamander, Queen Alexandre's birdwing butterfly and the Ohlone tiger beetle.