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