I always watch the ponds and rivers as we travel, glancing over fields and into forests. Yesterday I spotted something white in the distance..
We stopped to get a better look and found it to be a Trumpeter Swan on her nest. The mate, nearby on a bit of open water.
What a treat. We will be checking this spot out in the next while, watching for cygnets..
Some interesting facts from Hinterland Who’s Who
- was once hunted and harassed to the point where in 1933 there were only 77 Trumpeter Swans breeding in Canada and 50 breeding in the United States
- Trumpeters feed on leaves, tubers, and roots of aquatic plants at depths up to 1 m, which they reach by dipping their heads and necks, or by up-ending. The cygnets, feed predominately on insects and other invertebrates for the first few weeks of life but may start feeding on plants before they are two weeks old.
- They frequently construct their nests on old beaver houses and dams, but they also build on emergent vegetation, either floating or anchored to the bottom.
- The female, or pen, lays one egg about every two days, until she has produced an average of five or six eggs, or occasionally up to nine. She incubates for 32 days until they hatch while the cob helps to defend the nest from predators and intruders.
- Except for people, wild Trumpeters have few natural enemies.
- The most serious threat to the continued well-being of the Trumpeter Swan is the loss of habitat resulting from expanding human populations.
- The shape and colour of the bill help in identifying the Trumpeter and Tundra swans in the field. Trumpeters have all black bills; Tundra Swans, formerly called Whistling Swans, have more sloping bills, usually with a small yellow patch in front of the eye. If this patch is missing, it is quite difficult to distinguish between the two birds unless the voice is heard. At close range, an observer should look for a salmon-red line on the lower bill.