How to make perfect perching spot for dragonflies?

So i live in a countryside, not far away from woods and the nearest body of water is my neighbours’ pond
Dragonflies fly year round near my place but it’s hard to take pictures because they seem can’t find a perfect perching spot
I planned to build one
Any suggestions to this thought?


No guarantees they will land on your perches, so I wouldn’t spend so much effort in making one. Maybe just drive a chopstick into the ground, idk. However, I noticed that for some odonata, if they do find an ideal spot for perching they will tend to come back to the same spot or nearby even if they are disturbed.


Long sticks such as willow stems, about 3-4 ft long, stuck in the bank or soft mud near shore and slightly angled toward the water. Place them where you have good photoing access and where the sun can be at your back. If you build it they will come. Good luck.


I often see them perching on thin branches on bushes, especially ones that project out from the main body of the bush and offer a good view and easy take-off and land in any direction. Generally these seem to have smaller leaves too.

Maybe instead of trying to make perches plant some attractive shrubs that have the right sort of branching pattern for them?

That would have the advantage of providing flowers (potentially) for you and habitat for other animals. Some of these might be animals the dragonflies hunt, which would provide additional reason for them to frequent your area.

Thin bamboo (or other material) stakes can provide perching sites too as those sort of mimic things like cat-tails and reeds they use in wetland areas and provide that same sort of good view and easy lift-off and landing site.

Vertical plants such as at the top of tall grasses or branches or horizontal surfaces in the form of a broadleaf make ideal perch sites. The main thing, explained Abbott, is to mimic nature by providing a heterogeneous environment with a variety of different types and styles of plants so you give dragonflies perching options. That goes for aquatic plants as well in the form of submerger, emergent, and floating plants.

“It’s more about diversity of habitat than a particular list of plants,” said Abbott, adding “I always encourage native plants.” But, he conceded, it’s not like the dragonfly is going to turn its nose up at an exotic or invasive plant and can’t or won’t use it.


In my experience it is species/family dependent on what they do. Some will just fly around all day (particularly males patrolling breeding habitat) but others will mostly perch. Some perch on the ground during the day while others perch on twigs and some might perch on the side of a tree to warm up with morning or evening sun. However nearly all will perch somewhere overnight so if you see some flying in an area during the day (not just passing through) then they will likely be perched on twigs or shrubs overnight so try spotlighting or getting up early.

A nearby pond will only contain certain species but a river, for example, will usually contain different ones. Some, particularly larger dragonflies, may travel a long way (for example, Pantala flavescens at the extreme is known to cross oceans).

Having said that, I was ones wading along a creek with a fairly closed canopy and only a few sunny patches. A male darner was patrolling up and down and I wondered if he would sit on a stick if I put one in the middle of the water in the sun. He did and I got some nice photos.


The skimmers that visit my yard really like the ends of sticks that are out in the open, with a good view of the surroundings. I have some old bamboo stakes about 3 feet tall in random spots that they’re really fond of.


It sounds like you might not have access to the neighbor’s pond, where dragonflies might congregate, but that they are flying around your property. They might be landing on what vegetation you already have. Some dragonflies don’t perch in prominent locations, such as on twigs or posts out in the open. I’d suggest you carefully examine any shrubs or trees in your location, including at dawn or dusk when some species will perch for the night. Note that during the day some species perch prominently on twigs or tree snags, others hang down from their perch (which might be a low shrub) and can be hard to spot, and still others will perch on the open ground or on flat rocks. They can be as variable in their perching habits as birds are. If you can search near water, that is best, but they can be elsewhere (open fields, forest edges, etc.) also.

1 Like

Around the same time every year I get Blue Dashers perching on my car’s radio antenna. Not sure if that’s because it’s the high point in a small open area, contrasting colors with the white of the car, or something else.

1 Like

In my area, it’s Flame Skimmers and Variegated Meadowhawks that are the car antenna perchers.

If you have the means to do so, try to create an open, perhaps bare soil or sandy patch as well. While some skimmers and clubtails perch elevated, others do so on the ground, and those species may be attracted to that setup rather than elevated options

Once I was trying to get a photo of a clubtail species (Gomphidae) on a shallow stream. Two male dragonflies were flying a beat up and down the stream, back and forth, but would not land. Finally I took a big rock and placed it in the stream so that it provided a nice, flat perching spot in the middle of the stream section that the two were flying. Within a minute the two landed on the rock and I got my photos.


Thank you for all your help
I really appreciate it

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.