Trumpeter Swans, Part 1

In today’s post, I’m featuring the reason I spent 2 days this week at Squaw Creek NWR, in northwestern Missouri … the Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator). Just a few short years ago, the trumpeter swan could not (easily) be found in Missouri. But starting 3-4 years ago, the swans began stopping at the Squaw Creek NWR in late fall/early winter. At first, a couple dozen. Then 70-80 swans. As of last week, the counts were 212 swans, so I just HAD to make a trip to photograph these beauties!

In today’s post, I’m sharing some of the static swan images I made. In future postings, I’ll share some action and flight shots. Here are today’s images:

Trumpeter Swans

 

Note the 3 gray-necked swans in the above image. These are juveniles, or “cygnets” that were born earlier this year. Cygnets also have a gray-white body, that turns white as they get through their first year.

Trumpeter Swans

 

As with most birds, the trumpeter swans seem to constantly manicure their feathers. This behavior assures they are always ready for flight.

Trumpeter Swans

 

In the above image, the adult swan is seen “wing waving”, another activity that is commonly seen with swans, particularly as they preen and bathe.

Trumpeter Swans

 

In the above image, a family of 5 swans (2 adults and 3 cygnets) are bathing and preening. Trumpeter swans always seem to travel in family units, sometimes multiple families will travel together. But when moving around the water, they seem to always travel as a family unit. And the number within the family seems to typically be from 2 adults (no cygnets) to about 6 swans (2 adults and 4 cygnets).

And in this last image, a single swan is swimming towards me with a nice reflection in the water. During my 2-day trip, the weather was a mixed bag. No blue skies (which I really like when shooting flight shots), but a very dense cloud cover. Also, fog was extremely heavy throughout a big part of each day. As far as this next image, I like the simplicity of the composition … just a swan, it’s reflection, and a very small water wake around the bird … simple, yet powerful:

Trumpeter Swan

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Posted in 2012, Birds, Blog, Nature Photography, Travel Photography
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