Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Tundra Swan
Copyright William L. Newton

My Canadian friend, Patti, of the Famous Fabric Sluts, has a fantastic post about the Tundra Swans arriving at Lake Erie! Please check out her blog - Island of Souls - and give yourself a treat! I've never been fortunate enough to see a tundra swan, so I looked them up. The photo and data are from Cornell Lab of Ornithology - NOT my camera or my brain.

"True to its name, the Tundra Swan breeds on the high tundra across the top of North America. It winters in large flocks along both coasts, and is frequently encountered during its migration across the continent."

Cool Tundra Swan Facts from Cornell:

"The whistling swan, the American race of the Tundra Swan, currently is considered the same species as the Eurasian race, the Bewick's swan. They were considered separate species in the past, distinguished by the large yellow patches on the face of the Bewick's swan.
During the breeding season the Tundra Swan sleeps almost entirely on land, but in the winter it sleeps more often on water."

"Swan nests on the tundra are vulnerable to a host of predators, such as foxes, weasels, jaegers, and gulls. If the parents are present, they are able to defend the nest and nestlings from these threats. Wolves, people, and bears, however, are too big to fight, and most incubating swans leave their nests while these large predators are far away. By leaving quickly when large predators approach, the parents may make the nest harder to find."

"The Tundra Swan stays in flocks except when on a breeding territory. Although most swans spread out to breed, a large proportion of the population on the breeding grounds still can be found in flocks. These swans are not breeding, and may be young birds that have not yet bred, adult pairs whose breeding attempts failed, or adults that bred in the past but for some reason do not in that year."

Thanks Cornell, and thanks Mr. Newton. To read more click on the Cornell link to the Tundra Swan page.

We are all properly educated now before we vicariously live this experience through Patti and her photo friends! I, for one, am looking forward to this!!! Thanks, Patti!


Nancy J. Bond said...

Swans are such graceful birds. I'm off to check out the link to Patti's blog.

Daniel Spurgeon said...

Hi Debi, fabulous post on the Tundra Swans. It is interesting to me that they spend the WINTER on the water while spending the summer on land. Just the opposite of vacationing homo sapiens. I have a newspaper for you- yesterday's News Courier had a front page article regarding National Geographic Traveller Magazine is doing an article on the North Alabama Birding trails, as well as other trails here in North Alabama. I'll am going to be on the lookout for that magazine. I am also going to post the front page of the newspaper article on the blog (just as soon as I can find my SD USB Card reader. Sigh.) I am now going to check out the original article on this beautiful swan. Thanks for the post!

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

Hi Daniel - thanks for thinking of me re the News Courier. If you find a NGT issue tell me where so I can go get one, too! Great idea for an article - wish I'd thought of that!!!! Ach!

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

Hi Nancy - you'll love Patti's blog - she's a super cool-o, neat-o lady!

Threadspider said...

Fabulous pictures and post Debi, and thanks for the introduction to Island of Souls.

Crafty Gardener said...

There were 2 tundra swans spotted on the river in the town just up the road from me. It was predicted that they were passing through. I sure wish I could of seen them in person instead of on the front page of our newspaper last night.

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

Hi Nancy! I've only seen the basic swans in the park peacefully gliding in graceful fashion. Seeing them in the wild, in abundance, taking off and landing and honking (or whatever sound it is that they make), would be a great experience! Thanks for stopping by - Debi

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

Hi Daniel! I enjoyed our chat yesterday - thanks for telling me about your updated blog WHICH I NEED TO GO VISIT NEXT! Thanks for posting - talk with you soon. Debi

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

HI Threadspider! I just knew you and Patti would hit it off, both being such talented fabric artists! I love your blog and am thrilled you stopped to say Hello!

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

Greetings Crafty Gardener. Isn't that just the way? Similar experience happened with me when the Sandhill Cranes came through. Maybe you'll find some slackers - we still have white pelicans here I'm told, so a trip to the dam may be in order this weekend. Thanks for stopping by! Debi

wcgillian said...

I really enjoy this blog site of yours. I am looking through it in depth and will continue to do so. I sent a few photos of the Tundra Swans from the slope to your e-mail. They are my favorite birds up here and a joy to watch. I also want to thank you for you comments on my poem, "I'm Tired But I Love You." I have had to make that drive a number of times myself.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for pointing folks to our migration shoot. I am soooo disappointed I won't be there but I guarantee there will be wonderful shots by fellow members of In particular, Sue Southon who is our resident birder expert.

Thousands of Tundras is a sight to behold, let me tell you.


Naturegirl said...

Debi we are kindred spirits..your profile photo is a butterfly and I wear a crown of butterflies on my profile photo!! We Libras must be linked..thank you NG


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