Trumpeter Swans at Montezuma, 9/25

It was a beautiful day at Montezuma NWR as we headed home after a week in the Ithaca area. You couldn’t ask for a nicer view over Tschache Pool.

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A family of Trumpeter Swans swam close to the dike, giving me better views of them than I’d ever had before.

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They nest on the marshes of the refuge, and eventually the whole family paddled into view.

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I think the upper bird has a damaged wing. It looks almost as if it’s twisted upside-down.

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Tundra vs Trumpeter is a real ID challenge. Tundra Swans usually (but not always) have a yellow spot on the lores — the area between the beak and eye. Even if that’s lacking, the eye is usually more defined — a circle at the end of the beak, while the Trumpeter’s eye seems absorbed by the black of the beak. The Trumpeter’s beak and head form a straighter wedge shape, like a Canvasback’s head.

(Also, this family has been watched and identified all summer, so I’m pretty sure!)

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Categories: bird behavior, Bird photos, Field trip, montezuma nwr, swans | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Trumpeter Swans at Montezuma, 9/25

  1. Betty frezon

    Wonderful pictures. Love seeing this family. Thank you. Glad you had a week in Ithaca .

  2. For the last three days, 11/6/14 – 11/8/14 there has been a flock of 20 swans at Montezuma.
    They are about half way down the main drive path, looking to your left, almost at the far shore.
    Need a good scope or zoom camera to see them.
    They are at the max reach of my camera, and it’s hard to determine the type of swan from the photos I was able to take. Guessing they are Tundra.

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