Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Trumpeter Swans

Near the end of the season, four Trumpeter Swan Cygnets were released in Alum Creek in Hayden Valley.   This was part of a program to try to boost the number of breeding pairs in the park as the reproduction rate has been low in recent years.   Two adult trumpeters were in the area and it is hoped that there will be a successful pairing.

I watched these birds on several occasions.  At that point, there seemed some animosity toward the immature birds from the two adults, including attempts to chase them from the spot where they were feeding.  I don't know if this is serious animosity or the type that may someday result in breeding/pairing between them.   Whatever the situation, the show was pretty incredible so I am sharing some of the photos with you.   For best results, click on a photo to enlarge and see as a slide show.  The detail in the birds and the activity will not be apparent in the small versions of the photos.
The cygnet in the foreground shows the usual grayish coloration.  The white one in the background is unusual as she has already gained the white coloring of the adults while retaining the pinkish bill and feet associated with the younger birds.

the adult birds have flown in from a bit upstream and the initial attack occurs

The four cygnets are females.  It is hoped the two adults are both males.  An additional single trumpeter spent the summer along the Firehole River.  It had lost its mate (they mate for life) over the winter.

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