Full Disclosure: This post and these photos originate from April 26/20.
Walking toward the abyss of our local sinkhole (wow, how did that phrase get in there), we could see a flock of large white birds floating on the surface of the temporary pond in the local farm fields.
Initially, we thought they were snow geese, as this bird frequently pauses in our area, as it migrates northward. But, on closer inspection (my 1200 mm lens) something was just not right. The necks were longer, the beak was a different colour and there were no saw-like teeth visible.
I assumed they were Trumpeter Swans, who were headed North to Grande Prairie and beyond. They flapped their wings, fluttered up into the air and down and created a whole heap of “hoo” noise. We considered ourselves very privileged to witness this event and indeed we were. When we went back two days later, they (and the pond) were all gone.
The Trumpeter Swan, at 10.9-12.7 kg (24-28 pounds) is the heaviest living and largest extant bird in North America, with a wing span which may exceed 3 meters (10 feet). By 1933, fewer than 70 wild trumpeters remained. After a concerted conservation effort, the population rose to 46,000 by 2010. Their migratory range is from the northern U.S. states to Alaska.
Trumpeting Spring’s Arrival
“Hoo” calls ringing out.
trumpeting spring’s arrival.
Majestic white swans.