Thursday, April 18, 2019

More Bird Babies to Report: Mute Swans on the Tuolumne River

I've been secretly a tiny bit worried for the past few days. There has been a pair of Mute Swans (Cygnus olor) living in the pond across from the west end of the Tuolumne River Trail for at least three years now. It's probable that they are domestic (Mute Swans are not native to North America; many are escaped "ornamental" birds), but this pair has been reproducing each spring, with four cygnets last year, three of whom survived to adulthood. For several weeks, the only swan visible was the male, who was doing a lot of territorial defense with the local Canada Geese, while the female presumably was nesting. But then even the male seemed to disappear.

This week my surveillance contact on the bluffs reported that the swans were back in action and they were trailing a little one! Mrs. Geotripper and I had to go down and check it out, zoom lenses in hand. At first we could only see the one cygnet staying really close to mama, but then then she turned and we saw the second little one.

We'll look in every so often to see how they are doing...

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