Wednesday, January 1, 2014

swanning in the bay

At the bay end of Lake Ontario there is perfect conditions for the geese and ducks and, most importantly, the swans to congregate. They use it as their winter resort. There are hundreds - hundreds! - of them from November to March. It can be a shock (and a wee bit disappointing) to come down one day in the early days of spring and see that they have, en masse, left. There are a few who make it their year round base, and maybe they are glad to have those noisy visitors gone with more room to swim around. But for now, this is the best time to see the variety and reacquaint yourself with some old friends.

The noisiest swans are the trumpeters. They are the ones with black bills. (The mutes have orange bills)
They are a legally protected species after becoming almost extinct in the early 1900s. Now you will see them with bright yellow tags that may look cumbersome, but apparently don't bother them at all. The identification tags help with monitoring the birds. The yellow means they are from Ontario. Records are kept of their whereabouts, when they are spotted and their nesting success. You can call to report any tagged bird if it is seen in an unusual area (like a golf course or somewhere farther away from Burlington or Scarborough, Pickering or Whitby where they also congregate in the winter).


I thought maybe these juveniles were siblings out with their mother. You can read an article about the wonderful job the Kingdons have been doing with feeding and caring and tagging of these swans at Lasalle Park here

And one thing I learned just this week, is that the metal leg band also indicates the sex

on the right is a male with the band on his right leg and this saucy one on the left is a female.















I'm sharing this New Year's Day post with signs,signs

19 comments:

  1. You can hardly miss these tags - that's the point, I know, but they detract just a little from the swan's beauty.

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    1. I agree. there are some that are untagged for some reason.

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  2. Such lovely creatures. I saw some in London Ontario when we were there years ago....

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    1. I love them. have many dozens of photos....

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  3. I've never seen tags on feathers like this. Very distinctive. Didn't realise that so much coding went into the tags either - such as yellow from Ontario. Fascinating.

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    1. neither did I until I stumbled on an American site and realized that each state has its own colour combo. these swans in Canada are only in Ontario so if the tag is another colour, they are American.

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  4. Interesting and new info for me. And yes they are siblings.

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    1. it was more their relationship with D33 I wasn't sure about. but I am still confused as to how the volunteers know who these juvies belong with.

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  5. thanks for the clarification and i am laughing at the one with his behind up in the air...took me a few seconds to figure out what i was looking at lol

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  6. Those tags look a bit over the top! Lovely swans, though. Happy New Year and thanks for the ruby wedding wishes.

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  7. It' s good that they are trying to protect the of course, but yikes! Such an unfortunate adornment.

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    1. people become attached to them and some know them by their number (as if a name) and will be on the lookout each year. so, it is good that you can see the tags clearly. but yes, an ugly adornment!

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  8. Is that ever interesting! I wish I could tag out deer to better figure out who they are. As it is, we can tell from behaviour and the groups they keep.
    Cheers from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!

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  9. Thank you for this post. Most interesting and swans are so beautiful. Our swans are black, and just as beautiful.

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  10. They must be at a convention with all their name tags.

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