Trumpeter swan: a first for me

 

2016_04_10_Trailwalk_Oxbow Marsh_0092

The trumpeter swan, the largest waterfowl species native to North America, was at one time considered an endangered species. They had been hunted to near extinction for their feathers, skin, meat, and eggs, and by 1900 the species had greatly declined in numbers, until, by 1970 fewer than 70 were known to exist in the wild. Then a small population was discovered in remote mountain valleys of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, and in the early 1950s, a larger population was found in Alaska. By 2010 the North American population had increased to over 46,000 birds. Now it is  no longer a rare bird, but this is the first I had seen one, so I was delighted with the opportunity to take some photos of this beautiful bird that can have a wingspan that exceeds 10 feet.

Except for a black bill, legs, and feet, the trumpeter swan is completely white, although, like the one we saw, their head and neck may be stained a rusty brown because of the ferrous minerals in the wetland soils where they make their habitat. They feed on aquatic plants, and I was fascinated to watch this solitary bird floating gracefully in the marsh, repeatedly dipping its head under the water to search out tasty plants. Click on one of the pictures below to scroll through the gallery, and you will see that he has been doing exactly that. At one point, I saw him trying to pull up a heavy clump of wet plants.

 

NOTE: Sometimes these birds are confused with the mute swan, which is an  unpopular invasive species, but the two are not the same.  A group of swans can be called by many nouns, including a ballet, bevy, drift, regatta, and a school!

Trail walking can be educational as well as good exercise and lots of fun.Thank you for joining me on the trail today.

See you soon.
Trail Walker

2 thoughts on “Trumpeter swan: a first for me

Add yours

  1. Was this at Oxbow? If so, I originally found this bird on 3/14, and it is remarkable that it is still around. If not, where did you see it?

    Like

Leave a Reply to Anonymous Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

Walking with a Smacked Pentax

A photographic journey through the North of England, Scotland and Wales

Whippet Wisdom - a Highland Journey

A journey through the seasons with two adopted whippets, a poet and a camera

2 Old Guys Walking

Exploring the Walking Trails and History of South - Central Ontario, Canada

Foggy Point Light Blog

Jeff Burns - Author

WALKIN', WRITIN', WIT & WHIMSY

Strolling around SE Michigan & sending joy in the journey.

Back Porch Bed and Breakfast

Welcome to Our Home

45 Degrees North

Adventures at the Polar Equator and Beyond

olddogsnewtruck

putting down roots in Maine

Emily Carter Mitchell ~ Nature as Art

Nature & Wildlife Photography

Cynthia Reyes

The blog of Canadian author Cynthia Reyes

Eliza Waters

My Own Paradise: Life on Seven and a Half Acres

Notes From the Hinterland

A blog about nature, home, community, books, writing, the environment, food, and rural life.

Weekly Fifty

Exploring the wonders of creation through a 50mm lens...and other lenses too.

BELINDA GROVER PHOTOGRAPHY

STOPS ALONG THE WAY

Journeys with Johnbo

Reflections on places traveled and photos taken.

breezes at dawn

the breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you... ~ Rumi

Backyard Bird Nerd

"Consider the birds of the air...."

%d bloggers like this: