Trumpeter Swan Cygnus buccinator
LaSalle Park and Marina
3 December 2013
Surely one of the most magnificent birds in all the avian kingdom, Trumpeter Swans find winter refuge along the north shore of Lake Ontario, with the greatest concentrations at LaSalle Park in Burlington.
I have no idea how many times I have visited these splendid creatures, but never often enough, and I hope to do it a thousand times again. My soul is stirred at their sight, my sense of the wildness of nature enhanced by their trumpeting calls; I am peace with myself when I am in their presence.
Here are adults with the young of the year, all banded and wing-tagged to help monitor their movements and protect them at all costs.
Canada Geese Branta canadensis are large birds by most standards; here next to Trumpeter Swans they appear small.
Tranquility and peaceful coexistence are not always the order of the day, and this individual is displaying hostility towards another.
Finally a bout of intra-specific aggression erupts.
Contrast the difference between the adult bill and the juvenile bill.
And the feet.
When we left the sun was beginning to set and the swans were settling down for the night. I wish them safe passage through the hours of darkness