Skip to content

Trumpeter Swans: Arctic Visitors

February 7, 2013

Trumpeter Swans are another welcome winter visitor to the Kootenays. The swans that I see move along the migration corridor from Western Alaska through British Columbia to Montana and Utah. A few birds spend most of the winter just “up the valley” on open water. These photos are of the swans that turned up in the Nelson area.

P3208639signed

Trumpeter Swan Family

family walking across the mud flats

family walking across the mud flats

wing flapping

Adult flapping wings

Swans share a long-term pair bond and migrate in family groups. Adults have the whiter plumage and the juveniles (first spring birds) have a more  “mottled” appearance. Sometimes you can see the more pinkish bill of the juveniles.

wing flapping

Juvenile flapping wings

Curious swans

Curious swans

Spending time crouched on icy mud is part of the bargain if you want to watch swans, but my favourite memory is that of a curious family that swam up to get a better look at me and Max.  Max was sitting next to me and no danger to the swans.  They came within a few feet and gave me an eye to eye view of a truly magnificent bird.  I was holding my breath in amazement.  I wonder what the swans were thinking. They were probably checking out potential predators or they may have been merely curious, but there is a part of me that hopes they found the encounter memorable too.

Checking us out

Checking us out

walking across the ice

walking across the ice

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans

The call of these beautiful birds brings wide open spaces to mind. I would love to see them on the nesting ground. For now, I consider myself lucky to see these arctic visitors. Enjoy the photos.

Trumpeter Swan pair

Trumpeter Swan pair

All photos and writing in this blog copyright Joanne Siderius 2013

2 Comments
  1. Susie Hammond permalink

    Such beautiful birds. The ones on the Slocan River get more numerous each year and are found increasingly down river.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: