I had the last two days off from work. Wednesday was a gorgeous day, but I had errands to do and I had to catch up on the laundry from over the weekend when the water was brown. My plans were to do something more pleasant on Thursday, but the rains returned and cancelled that idea. It was an excellent time to brew up a big pot of homemade chicken noodle soup however. It was quite tasty, and I’ve now got three more meals waiting in the freezer.
This morning I had to work the visitors center, but only for four hours. Thank goodness. With only six visitors, it gets kind of boring. I was more than happy to see Lois, a local volunteer, arrive to relieve me. There was some breaking news on the refuge, and I took a short drive over to see the event.
We’ve all been watching a pair of trumpeter swans for the last month nesting on the edge of a small bay off of Flat Lake. The nest was visible in the distance from the bank of windows in the VC. The pair of swans seemed rather agitated this morning, and with good reason. See that little pile of white fluff between the mother’s legs?
By noon, four signets (baby swans) had hatched! The young of swans, ducks, and geese are termed precocial. That means that upon hatching they’re covered in downy feathering, and not naked like baby robins, for instance. It also means that soon after hatching, they are able get up and walk around and their eyes are fully open.
Mom spent her time between checking on them and shielding them…
… and standing guard over them. Dad was also vigilant in the near area. They both chased off another pair of swans that had the audacity to land too near to the nest.
Four to six eggs are normally laid, so it’s hard to tell if this is the full brood or one or two more may hatch. The youngsters will hang around the nest for about 24 hours, and then they’ll be off with mom and dad after they get their ‘sea’ legs. Happy birth day little trumpeters! I hope you all survive to serenade me with the ‘William Tell Overture’ or Sousa’s ‘Stars and Stripes Forever’!
Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later, Judy