The large direct flight muscles of dragonflies are rich protein sources for adult cranes and for their young colts who grow almost an inch each day. As any entomologist knows, dragonflies skillfully avoid the net.
Catching a dragonfly in mid-flight is a learned skill for cranes as for people. The insect is spied, then visually tracked, and finally captured with the sweep of a net (for people) or a lunging grab (for cranes). Millie has been the champion for many years, and since 2011, Roy has done well too.
Millie and Roy track dragonflies, plucking some prey in full flight but missing others. They often feed dragonflies and damselflies to Pi. Pi intently tracks nearby flying dragonflies, but by mid-summer when he is 6-weeks old, he seems content to merely watch them pass. Dragonfly snatching is beyond his skill-level at this age.
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