Saturday, June 6, 2015
A Day in the Life
Most mornings when I first arrive at the pond where I have been filming lately, the swan can be seen at the far end. I found out when I checked that end of the pond that she is standing on a log. Even though she wasn't on the log at the time, there was plenty of evidence in the form of feathers all around that she had been there.
She seems perfectly content to aimlessly wander about the pond snacking on pond weeds and sub aquatic vegetation. At times, she looks like a Hoover vac as her head zigzags back and forth over the surface of the water. She does this over areas where there is duck weed, but I am not sure that is what she is eating.
She does take to wing once in a while and it isn't always to chase a goose. Sometimes it is simply to go to the other end of the pond quickly. It was back in the winter when I saw her doing this. I would almost be willing to bet that she had not left the pond area to fly anywhere else since last winter. She (or he) has no mate and seems content to pass her days alone.
There are not very many places on the pond that don't have duck weed growing on the surface. One of the few places is at the end of the pond where I often stand and she was been very obliging to swim up that way from time to time, allowing me to take some very nice photographs.
I don't try to hide my presence, but neither do I move around much. She seems to tolerate me being there.
She doesn't trust me completely though and keeps her eye on me. After putting her head below water to search for weeds, I will notice her peeking at me through the spatterdock.
After awhile, she will take a break from eating to preen. She has the same routine as many ducks which starts out by bobbing her head underwater and throwing water over her back. This is followed by straightening feathers and rubbing oil from her glands on them to keep them waterproof. Finally, like many waterfowl, she will rise up in the water and flap her wings vigorously before settling back down. The final maneuver is an odd-looking stretch.
Sometime the house keeping duties take place on the water and, at other times, she disembarks the pond and preens on the shore.
Like most other bird species, she elects to nap in the heat of the day. I guess if I ran into a DNR officer, I could ask how long she has lived on the pond. They might know, and I have seen a couple of them in the area at times. It is possible, I guess, that she has lived here for years. I don't know because I have only visited here regularly since this past winter.