Swans in February

Previously on Ripple, I posted pictures of song birds that stay here in the winter. The House Finches surprised me, still chirping away in -24C (-10F) wintry air. But today, as I walk along the river, basking in the balmy weather (just at freezing point), I behold an even rarer sight. Trumpeter Swans!

Normally, they fly to the south and the Pacific Northwest beginning October, but ‘normal’ is no longer a term with relevance these days. Maybe the birds already knew that. With Texas bombarded with arctic storm and sub-zero F. temperatures this week, the Trumpeter Swans must have decided not to bother months before. Staying close by the river here above the 49th at least there’s food. And, as they say, if you don’t like the weather, just wait––normally five minutes––I’ll give it a few days.

An adult Trumpeter Swan with two juveniles on the river close by the shore, unafraid of the few of us birding paparazzi shooting away.

Interestingly, two Mallards cling to the Swans closely, reminds me of the term ‘imprinting’. Parent Swan keeps an eye on them fondly. Neighbourhood watch.

Half a mile up the river, there’s another juvenile all on its own. I gather it must be a teenager, as the plumage is more white than grey as the younger ones, also for its personality. This one just wants some alone time, seeking independence. Note the black foot out:

A fruitful day of birding and workout chasing after swans.


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If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Creator of Ripple Effects, bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

10 thoughts on “Swans in February”

  1. This is the second Canadian “swan” post I’ve seen in two days (the first was David’s “Travel with Birds” blog which is near Waterloo, Ontario.) They really are stunning birds, aren’t they — and apparently very hardy! Gorgeous photos with all that blue sky!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a wonderful sight. I’ve never seen one of these, and certainly would love to be able to. Is it their call that gives them the name ‘trumpeter’? They’re such large birds, I imagine their voice is large, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t hear their calls. They were so quiet but I think I heard a couple of honking sounds just once. I didn’t realize it was from them but now come to think of it, that could be it, a little like a brassy trumpet. Although I haven’t done much research on the origin of their name. Yes, quite a sight to behold.


    1. Upon talking with other birders, they have been here this winter. It’s just that I knew about it a bit late. Anyway one explained to me that like some Canada Geese, some swans are beginning to stay rather than migrate. Well, good for us birders here. 😄

      Liked by 1 person

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