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Confirmed entries to date: 6

Saturday, March 27, 2010

On Lost Lake


swans dabbling

I decided to back up and share a couple more pictures from my hike at Ludington State Park last weekend. These white objects were seen on Lost Lake, which is a portion of the larger Hamlin Lake. It's considered "lost" because it is almost completely cut off from the larger lake, connected by a couple of channels. Floating plastic bags? Buoys?
swans dabbling

Oh, hello! It's one of our local big birds, the mute swan. These birds have become almost the signature bird of the Ludington area, yet they aren't a North American native. The swan that is native to this area is the trumpeter swan. We have them too, but not as many, except during migration times.
mute swans

Here is one of the ways you can recognize the difference. The mute swans have the gracefully curved necks so familiar to bathroom decals! Trumpeters carry their necks straight up and down.
mute swanFinally, the mute swans have an orange beak; on trumpeters it's black.

And mute swans are... mute. Trumpeters are NOT. They can be very noisy. The day that Ellen and I kayaked through a flock of them they honked and honked for a long time as they all flew away.

Thanks for all the neat comments about the fern lesson. I'll definitely be showing you some more easy stuff about ferns this spring.


See Kayaking on November 21! to see the trumpeter swans flying
See I Never Would Have Seen These If... for another picture of a mute swan


8 comments:

Ann said...

Such beautiful and elegant birds. Thanks for pointing out the differences I wasn't aware of them.

RNSANE said...

Shark, it is always nice to learn something from your posts. I rarely see swans at all but I'll pay more attention now when I do.

Dennis the Vizsla said...

It's good to see honesty in species naming! ;-)

Lin said...

Swans are one of those creatures that are always surprising when you see them. And a joy! My, they are lovely.

VanillaSeven said...

They look like lump of iceberg on the first photo. Beautiful Swans :)

Sharkbytes said...

Ann- I'm not sure how many trumpeters get around or how far south they range. I consider it quite special when I see them.

Carmen- nice to see you! Thanks! I love making people more aware of nature.

Dennis- Yes! I almost said something like that, but sometimes the names are way off, or silly. But this time they are right on.

Lin- they are big too!

Vanilla- well, you are right! I didn't think about icebergs in Hamlin Lake, but it sounds like fun.

Duxbury Ramblers said...

Our resident Mute Swans are able to make a loud hissing sound when they feel threatened, certainly frightens the dogs off, when I feed them Edward the top male bites my boot for attention so he makes up for lack of voice :)

Sharkbytes said...

Carol- yes, I should have mentioned that they hiss. They really can be quite nasty.

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