Is it a Swansong or just the Cygneture Tune!?

Baldwin's Birds

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The other day I was fortunate enough to have a friend, who lives by the river, call me to see if I wanted to go and see the beautiful swans that were feeding in the water at the bottom of his garden. What a silly question! I grabbed my camera and was on my way, for a super treat, to see not just a pair of adult swans, but also their four, quite grown-up, but still immature cygnets. The latter, and one of the adults, were busy, with their bottoms up in the air, “bobbing” their heads for food on the bottom of the river, whilst the other adult kept an alert look out for danger. They were in the company of a flock of Canada Geese, and readily they mingled together, and idealistically to me, were showing no animosity towards each other. Such a lovely sight, but then came my own question to myself and maybe also to you, what type of swan are they?

Hopefully my pictures and my bird books would give me the complete answer when I got back home. I was able to narrow my observations down to two,– viz .a Tundra Swan, or a Trumpeter Swan, which are so very similar in many ways. I never heard any sounds or calls from them during my observation time there, so cannot draw a comparison on that count. Their beaks are very similar, very black and the coloring stretches back to their eye, but the Tundra one has some yellow coloring near its eye, not apparent on my pictures! Is that because of the time of year? So, not getting anywhere on that count, I decided to look at the juvenile coloring and this was a bit more convincing since the Trumpeter juvenile has a mostly black beak, but the Tundra has the pink coloring, as is shown in my pictures, so I’m plumping for the Tundra Swan! Perhaps you might think differently, but I hope you have fun trying to find out if I am mistaken through your own research! Stay safe and well, and be careful walking along looking up in the air as the geese, or swans, fly overhead, please don’t fall!

Cheers,
John Baldwin

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