Migrating swans at Glenmore Reservoir

Trumpeter Swans flying over Glenmore Reservoir

I’ve been quite busy with school work since mid-September, so I haven’t spent much time birdwatching this fall. My last midterm was last Wednesday and the weather forecast for the weekend was warm and sunny, so I headed to Glenmore Park for some blissful wildlife stalking on Saturday afternoon. Along with a few other wild creatures, I spotted two migrating Trumpeter Swans.

In the spring (April 4th to be exact) I saw three Trumpeter Swans stop briefly in the reservoir on their northward migration. I think the one with a greyish head and neck is a juvenile. Can you spot the two Canada geese in the last photo?

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10 Comments

  1. It promotes sanity, doesn’t it, when you get away from a busy schedule and focus on something outdoors? And swans are compelling!

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    1. Swans are compelling! And I am so looking forward to spending a few hours in nature in two weeks (I hope, hope, hope it won’t be a week in the -20 degrees Celsius range!). I hope to stay on the brink of insanity until then, without quite falling into it. Thanks for appreciating the delights of nature. 🙂

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  2. Swans are compelling, and it is good to see the trumpeters. We had a pair nesting in the restored wetland here which was pretty satisfying.
    How are classes going? Are you enjoying it?

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    1. A nesting pair! That is so cool. The only swan nests I’ve seen were the Mute Swan nests in Stanley Park (Vancouver, BC), and sadly, the eggs of these nests are destined for death each year because the park has decided to faze out the non-local, and potentially invasive species (it is sad but if they were born they would be destined to have clipped wings… which I think is worse). Sorry, that was my depressing swan experience. But Trumpeters are free to fly in Canada. Which is awesome!

      Did you see the nest? Do you know how many babies hatched and got to the flying stage?

      School is tough. I’m not used to the stress. But I think I’m getting better at coping. I think, maybe, my second semester will feel less intense. I do find all my classes interesting though. And all my teachers are quite good and enthusiastic. And I feel lucky to have the privilege of learning what I am learning. Sweet of you to ask :-).

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      1. I think it is wise that the park has made that decision about the mute swans. I wish the powers -that-be here would decide to do that with the Great Lakes race of Canada Geese. They cannot be hunted, they do not migrate. They just stalk around in increasingly alarming numbers pooping all over the grass everywhere. Although they do amuse me in winter, flying in random directions instead of south. Silly geese, I always chuckle.
        I did not see the nest. I saw the pair, and then in late summer I saw what appeared to be the young adult children swimming with them. Birder friends told me they had nested.
        I just think it is so cool you are pursuing this degree. Here’s to less stressful second semesters! 🙂

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  3. You got me thinking about why people don’t eat Canada Geese. So I did a bit of Googling and it seems like the main issue is that they are really, really greasy (though many say they are very tasty if properly prepared). Also, they eat grass with herbicides.

    You also got me thinking about Canada Goose management strategies. I remember Stanley Park and Granville Island, in Vancouver, had large grassy areas fully covered in goose poop when the spring goslings were close to adult age. I heard from someone that Stanley Park management addled some of the goose eggs but I don’t know if that is true or not. I heard something else about the management of Canada Geese in Calgary’s Prince’s Island Park, which sounded improbable. But after a quick Google search, it turns out it is true:

    “When it is necessary to address pest problems with geese in Calgary, goslings are carefully collected and removed from select sites where the birds have been a problem in the past. Once removed, the goslings are taken to a federally licensed expert who cares for the birds for three to four weeks until they are old enough to survive on their own. Then, the geese are released into rural wetlands , such as Ducks Unlimited lands or provincial fish and game reserves where migratory flocks with young are found. Once freed, the young birds quickly adapt and join the migratory flocks in a more natural environment.” (from calgary.ca)

    I do think it makes sense to manage Canada Geese when their numbers get too large. But I do appreciate seeing some of them around in the winter. On winter evenings, I’ve seen them congregate in certain areas of the Bow River. A pleasant sight.

    That’s neat that you saw the swans with their young. I like knowing that animals are carrying out their life cycles near where I live.

    Thanks so much for your supportive words about school. I didn’t want to respond to your message earlier because I wasn’t sure I would make it through my first semester. I did! Yay! And now I feel hopeful about my second semester. 🙂

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  4. Swans are compelling true & very beautiful but above all they are”SKITTISH”! Wild swans that is.Ones which have been conditioned in park ponds are very different.

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    1. I assume wild swans are more skittish than park swans. I’ve never been close enough to wild swans to test their “comfort distance”. They’ve always been on the opposite side of a water body I couldn’t cross or go around, or flying way up in the sky. At least you got some great photos of them running across water before taking off! Do you see them on fresh and/or salt water near Tofino?

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      1. Salt,but they always hang out at the end of a quiet inlet with a fresh water stream.

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        1. Interesting. Thanks for sharing your observation :-).

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