Today I had the opportunity to take a few photos of Trumpeter Swans in a private backyard pond in north Iowa. It seems that Spring should be here soon, but we still have several feet of snow most places. The corn fields are covered with snow and and most of the lakes and rivers are still frozen over, but these several swans, Canada Geese and Mallards found a small spot of open water in this pond and settled in. Photos taken from the deck of the homeowner's house.
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- Animals/Birds of the Badlands, Yellowstone and Grand Tetons National Parks 2016
- National Parks Landscapes 2016
- Animals of Yellowstone/Tetons/Badlands 2014
- Yellowstone/Tetons/Badlands Landscapes 2014
- Animals of Yellowstone/Tetons/Badlands 2012
- Yellowstone/Tetons/Badlands Landscapes 2012
- Animals of Yellowstone 2011
- Birds of Yellowstone 2011
- Yellowstone/Tetons Landscapes 2011
- Yellowstone Textures
- Custer State Park, SD
- Great Smoky Mountains NP
- Rocky Mountain National Park
- Utah National Parks
- About Me
When I am out photographing birds, wildlife and landscapes I occasionally shoot some video at the same time. Here is a little video sampler of some of our photo adventures over the past few years. The still photos can be found throughout this web site.
I gave in. I finally decided to post some pictures on Facebook also. Go to my Facebook page then click the Like or Follow button and you can stay updated on some of my photo adventures. Of course you will need to log in to Facebook to see them. -
The Tundra Swans are migrating. They start their journey from their summer breeding grounds in Western Alaska, Northern Yukon and Northwest Territories and fly diagonally across Canada and the United States to spend the Winter in the Chesapeake Bay area and the Atlantic Coast of Virginia and North Carolina. Tens of thousands of them stop off along the Mississippi River in Southeast Minnesota and Northeast Iowa to rest and feed for a few days or weeks before they continue their flight.
Saturday I went up to a viewing area about three miles South of Brownsville, MN which I think is one of the better places to see and Hear(!) the Tundra Swans fairly close. There are other places along the river to see the swans in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin from early November until around Thanksgiving depending on the weather. The sound of thousands of Tundra Swans is hard to describe, somewhat like honking geese, but very musical. While they are gregarious and rarely fly alone, they are also very territorial when they are feeding and will aggressively confront others. Their skirmishes with one or several other birds will take them chest to chest out of the water, stretching their necks and beaks as high as they can, loudly vocalizing the entire time. Quite a sight to see and hear (photo above).
For a couple of weekends in November there are naturalists at the Brownsville viewing area and across the river in Wisconsin south of Goose Island to answer questions. There was a pretty good crowd with binoculars, spotting scopes and cameras all day long (I imagine all weekend). The light was challenging with heavy overcast much of the day, but I got lots of photos of the swans flying and feeding. As they come in for their landing they are very graceful flying through the air, but then, rather than quickly settling down in to the water like most geese and ducks they sort of run across the top of the water, sometimes taking a couple of steps across the water with their big webbed feet and then sort of skipping back up in to the air and then a few more steps before finally landing with a splash. Sometimes they slide on their big feet like water skis. Fun to watch and hear.
See more photos of the Tundra Swans (and some of Trumpeter Swans taken earlier).
Iowa photographers Linda and Robert Scarth were also taking pictures the day I was there. We had a nice chat and I think entertained some of the spectators with all of our camera equipment. You can see some of their photos on their wonderful blog at http://scarthphoto.com/wp/
Just a few notes about my photos. See more on Facebook.