Friday, June 1, 2018
The Ugly Ducklings are Doing Okay: Watching the Mute Swans Grow on the Tuolumne River
As I've pointed out in previous posts, Mute Swans produce ambivalent feelings among birders and ecosystem managers. They are beautiful birds, the subject of myths and legends, especially in European culture. But that is because they are native to Europe. They were brought to America as domestic waterfowl, part of the landscaping for rich estates. But as usually happens some escaped and established feral populations, and as such they have caused a lot of damage by eating up much of the available forage, and displacing other species. There have been many efforts in the eastern United States to control their populations. Permits are needed to own these swans in California because of their potential in damaging natural habitats. For the time being, there are only a few showing up on the EBird reports in the region (Dawson Lake has been another dependable spot for seeing them).