BAND-WINGED and BLUE-FACED MEADOWHAWKS
Band-winged Meadowhawk. This is the only meadowhawk in our area with large brown patches on its wings.
Blue-faced Meadowhawk. This is the easiest meadowhawk to identify. I call these guys smurfs because of their blue faces.
Band-winged Meadowhawks have a long flight period. I have found tenerals as early as June 16th and mature individuals as late as October 25th.
This is a female Band-winged Meadowhawk, photographed at Sweet Arrow Reserve. Females and immature males are yellow and have paler brown patches on the wings (barely visible here). Older females turn red like the males.
This is a young, recently-emerged Band-winged Meadowhawk. It was photographed June 24, 2017, in Beavercreek.
Blue-faced Meadowhawks are common in some years but harder to find in others. The larvae prefer shallow wetlands that dry up in late summer and autumn. This protects them from fish, but leaves them vulnerable in years following a bad drought (which might help explain the population fluctuations).
This is a female Blue-faced Meadowhawk, photographed at Cox Arboretum on October 20, 2017. This is my personal late date for this species. I have found tenerals as early as June 25th, but Blue-faced Meadowhawks typically fly from August through October.
There is a healthy population of Band-winged Meadowhawks in the Beaver Creek Wetlands parks, including Siebenthaler Fen, Creekside Reserve, Beavercreek Wildlife Area, and Koogler Reserve.
Cox Arboretum has an excellent population of Blue-faced Meadowhawks. I have also found them at Germantown MetroPark, Siebenthaler Fen, Caesar Creek Wildlife Area, Koogler Reserve, Beavercreek Wildife Area, Grant Park, and Pearl's Fen.