It's a Swan Morning!
The Mute Swan family paid us a visit this morning after a long time away. There are larger lakes and several of them in our community and the swans have their own routine of visiting the different lakes. They always seem to remember our hospitality however and come right up to us when we go out to greet them.
There are four babies surviving from he original 6 that were born and I am surmising the turtles claimed the missing ones while they were still little and vulnerable.
The parents are very proud and the young signets are quite bold now and unafraid to approach us. I have not been able to find description of any sort regarding the plumage of distinction between male and female young. But it is my observation that one of these youngsters has a gray bill instead of yellow and his feathers are gray, more so than that of the other siblings. He also hissed at us and we are thinking this is a young male displaying his manly assertion-ha!
It is interesting to note that Mute Swans are not mute, but can trumpet, hiss and make low grunting sounds when posturing and warning others. Also, the Mute swans are not native to America but were introduced to our shores from European settlers over a century ago.
I love this photo showing the regal youngster who is eyeing us up...
A youngster eating a piece of wheat bread from my hand. I do not recommend feeding swans from your hand unless you have been experienced with feeding large swans and they are familiar with you as they can really do damage to finger and hands when aggressive. As in all things, you must remember that they are WILD.
Here a clumsy youngster slips on the muddy bank and falls on his back. Not to worry, Mom just went right over to him making grunting sounds, took her big webbed foot and with one flip righted her baby! Amazing!
This is the youngster that I feel is a male. As you can see, his bill is gray, almost black while all of his siblings have yellow bills.
I hope you enjoy learning about the wildlife that frequent our back yard. Please leave a comment and do come back to visit often as we never know what the day will bring in our little backyard sanctuary and lake.
My heart to yours...