Friday, September 10, 2010

Striebel Pond Swans and How They've Grown

It was so fun last year watching the swans grow but I don't know what happened to them in the Fall. Did they migrate? I heard that one died but there are varying stories about whether it was a parent or one of the young ones. I'm leaning toward one of the young ones. I also heard that they tried to come back this last Spring and were driven out of there by the parents. I'd be interested to know the real story.

This year the swan pair hatched SIX babies right after a big storm last Spring. I talked all about it here. And here are more pictures of them taken that first day after they hatched.

I've watched their progress and how fiercely protective the male was of his territory. I thought he hated geese and talked about it here and here and here. I now think he considered geese to be the biggest threat to his little ones because now that the baby swans have grown into young adult swans, the geese and the male co-exist without all that drama.

I've had a hard time photographing the swans lately. They tend to hang near the edge of the pond when I'm there and with the grass being about five feet tall now, I can't get a clear shot. So the other night I took my life in my hands and fought my way to near the water's edge to get some pictures of the more mature swan family.

Isn't it incredible how much they've grown in just over 3 short months! Now you have to look closely to tell the mom and dad from the kids. I think that the mom and dad have dark orange on their bills and the youngsters don't but that's just my theory.

I'll try to watch more closely and visit more often to see when they take off for their southward migration. They do migrate, don't they? (I just researched a little and found this: "The young begin to fly at 4 to 5 months but usually remain with the parents through the first winter. Non-migratory in North America, Mute Swans may make short-distance, seasonal movements dictated by the weather.") It will be interesting to see what they do.

Now, as far as risking my life by making my way down to the waters edge. I chuckled to myself as I fought my way down there for being such a baby. After spending ten or fifteen minutes with the swans, I continued my walk on the trail. I rounded one curve just in time to see a large snake slither off into the grasses.

We probably won't get many more close-ups of the swans this year - at least not if we have to walk through tall grasses to get them.


  1. I cannot believe how much they ve grown!! They're huge! I love your swan pics, rhey really are great! I think its so cool how you got to watch them grow up! Thanks so much for sharing it with us! Oh, and do we know why some of them are gray? I don't think I've ever seen that before. Is it normal? Maybe next time I come to indiana they will still be there and we could go see them.....that would be great!

    Love you!

  2. It has been really fun to watch your baby swas grow up, it's amazing how much and how fast they change. Thanks for risking your life to get these pictures! I'm glad the snake didn't get you!

  3. I have really enjoyed your swan shots. It is amazing to see how big they've gotten.


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