Today is the letter "T" for the Trumpeter Swans. The Trumpeter Swan is the largest of North America's native birds. It nests in the far north wetlands of Alaska. This is not a Sad Swan Song story as the Trumpeter is a success story.
The pairs nest for life and we do see the little family groups arrive here at this time of year. They winter all over British Columbia in the lakes, estuaries and deltas. We see them in the flooded farm fields. They seem to love to eat carrots from the farm fields and this is a benefit to the farmer as the old crop can harbour diseases. Around 6,000 swans winter on this island. There are a lot of them in the Comox area where the fields can support around 3,000 of them. We see them in Cowichan also.
It is a great success story for at one time there were only 77 of them breeding in Canada as they were hunted. Swan skins were sold for the down for powder puffs and hats. They are the largest waterfowl on the planet earth.
The main threat to them is pollution and also from the lead shot as they like to gravel which is ingesting small stones or grit into the gizzard to digest food and by mistake they take the lead. Also they suffer from loss of habitat especially in Alaska but also in the wintering areas.
They weigh around twenty to thirty pounds and have a wingspan of around six to seven feet. They can fly at 50mph and can achieve elevations of 27,000 feet. They live for about 12 to 20 years but in captivity can live as long as 35 years. They do a lot of sleeping here as there is ample food and the temperature is warmer for them. They are well adapted to the cold of Alaska and can withstand temperatures of -30C.
Around 40% of the Pacific Coast Group of Swans winter on Vancouver Island. They will always return to the same nest site in the north, leaving our area around Valentines Day or later, and they always return to the same wintering fields each year also for the duration of their lives. And that is why it is so important that their nest areas and wintering areas are protected and not contaminated.
This was a little family that spent the winter in a nearby field and we saw them almost each day last year.
I am not sure if I want to post this so I have removed and added it about ten times today. Those of you who blog will understand the conflict when we have a nature themed blog. The blog is part of my support in life so will post.
So on a more personal note I have always been goofy and now I have wacky blood (leukemia) but it will not stop me from blogging or taking my photos of birds and nature. I hope my readers and my bloggers will continue to follow along with me. I will not be changing the blog, it will still be about nature. This is not my swan song. I have a lot more blogging to do....you can also friend me on my Facebook personal page or my Fan page if you wish to. I also spend a lot of time on Twitter and have a fun page there so if you tweet let me know so I can follow you.
Your comments and your blogs mean a lot to me even though we never met in person I feel I know a lot of you from reading your blogs for years. My dream was to own a bed and breakfast just for bloggers and birders on a lake or near the shoreline. I guess that dream will have to wait for a while. I hope you enjoyed the Trumpeter photos and please leave me a comment.
Don't forget to check out my twitter page, my Facebook page, my YouTube site.
Thank you to these memes for allowing bloggers to share their story. I may not remember to enter them all but I still list them for others and as this is the quick way for me to do it.
Click on these links to find great blogs and photos.
The Bird D'pot Thank you Anni
Our World Tuesday Thank you Our World Team
Sweet Shot Tuesday Thank you Kent
ABC Wednesday Thank you Denise, Roger and Team
Nature Notes Wednesday Thank you Michelle
Outdoors Wednesday Thank you Susan
Wild Bird Wednesday Thank you Stewart
I list all the memes for the week now as I can only spend a short time on the computer. To continue reading posts you must click older post below or see the index at the top or the side or pick a popular post or label from the sidebar.
HAVE A GREAT WEEK BLOGGERS AND BIRDERS!! AND THANKS TO THE TWITTER FRIENDS I HAVE MADE ALSO.