March 25, 2004

Nesting Swans

Today I returned to the Manistee River bayous that I was at on March 16th. The hummock that I saw the swans investigating has been turned into a nesting site. And there is even another swan on a nest within 20 yards of this one. This swan was sitting on her nest the entire time that I watched her. She never got up. Yet she continued to build her nest as she sat. She would reach out as far as her long neck would let her, and she would pick up each stick and stalk that she could reach and carefully place it on the nest. In this image you can see that she has a small branch in her bill that she is about to place on the nest.

It was a beautiful morning. Temperatures got up into the 50s and wildlife was everywhere. I photographed, swans, geese, ducks, muskrats and male red wing black birds.

I've not seen any female red wing black birds, but there are many males out. Males frequently arrive before the females and start staking out territory. A classic place for these birds to nest is in cattails along the waters edge. The males sing to both attract females and to establish their territories. While they sing the frequently stretch out their wings, making the red and yellow chevrons on their shoulders look more impressive.

I'm hoping to get more photos of the red wing black birds and the swans as the spring develops. I can feel the excitement level rising around me. Spring is here, the world is reawakening and I'm really looking forward to capturing it's images.

March 22, 2004

March 26, 2004

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