Archive for April 12, 2011

Wild Theme #360

Posted in Photography on April 12, 2011 by paintedmeadows

Trumpeter SwanI took this picture along with many others of this Trumpeter Swan pair last night.  We are melting fast around here and this is a farmer’s field that now has a temporary pond in it.  These Trumpeter Swans have just come back after their winter away.  Here is a bit of info about them from Charming Fair Farm. 

Description: Weighing from 25-35 pounds when fully grown, the trumpeter swan is the world’s largest waterfowl. When fully extended, their wingspan can reach nearly eight feet. The trumpeter is similar in appearance to other white swans, but their foreheads slope evenly to an all black bill.

Habitat: The Trumpeter swan resides in North America, mainly in isolated populations in western Canada and the western United States. They were formerly more widespread. They inhabit lakes, ponds, large rivers, bays and sometimes grain fields.

Diet: Consists of insects, aquatic vegetation and roots. The swans tip up like mallards and root through the mud for their favorite roots. Their long necks give them an advantage. They can feed much deeper than either Canada geese or dabbling ducks

Reproduction: The breeding season of the trumpeter swans begins in April and May. The number of eggs that are lain by a female Trumpeter swan can be anywhere from 2-10 eggs. They normally do not breed until their fourth year. They also form strong pair bonds that can last for years. Their nests can be huge, at times reaching five feet across, and they are usually built among aquatic plants like cattails. They will often use the tops of muskrat houses for a nest base. After hatching, young trumpeters stay with the parents until the next spring when the pair begins nesting. Survival of young trumpeter swans is often high because of this extra parental attention.