Today's post is a collection of images I have made over the past few years, of one of my favorite birds to encounter ... a really, big bird ... the Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator). Various reference books will differ slightly in the facts they note, but the Trumpeter Swan is ~60 inches long ... and males may even get up to ~70". Their wingspan ranges ~73-98 inches, and the swan usually weighs in the 15-30 pound range. So, definitely a big bird!
Until the last few years, I would only find the swans in my travels to Alaska. But they are now becoming quite familiar in my state (Missouri). There are a few pairs that are beginning to mate and nest in the state, but their locations are usually pretty difficult to learn ... the state conservation department is pretty tight-lipped to the locations, to provide privacy to the newcomers.
However, in the winter, it is becoming quite common to find Trumpeter Swans laying over at a well-known wildlife refuge in the northwest part of Missouri, the Squaw Creek NWR. Their numbers have been steadily increasing in late November/early December and this year, there were nearly 300 swans on the refuge when I visited in early December!
Let's get to the goodies ... the images. Here are a few of my favorite Trumpeter Swan images I've made over the past few years. Enjoy Big Bird ... sans Bert & Ernie! :o)
This post was submitted by Jim Braswell of Show-Me Nature Photography