Sometimes, persistence pays. Four days ago, I watched two swans circle over the bay to the west of Kokanee Creek Park. The next day I head reports of them, but failed to find them — they were in the vicinity, but where?

Today, I was looking for something else when friends said, “There are two swans at the bottom of this path….” Finally, I managed a shot.

However, there was a striking feature I had seen before: geese and dabbling ducks were keeping company with the swans. I suspect that their motivations had to do with the long necks of swans. All of these bird forage in the shallows by tipping down and using their long necks to scour the bottom. The longest necks belong to swans; they are able to forage to depths where geese and ducks cannot. But, if swans are present to stir up detritus on the bottom, geese and dabbling ducks can pick it off as it floats near the surface. So, it is that others like to hang out with swans.

Trumpeter Swans forage and attract Canada Geese and Mallards that take advantage of the activities. 

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7 Responses to Trumpeters

  1. Bernard Faure says:

    Is it kind of early to see these guys? I saw a small flock while driving…

  2. Bernard Faure says:

    I was going across the bridge over the Kootenay river just West of the Hwy 3 and 3A turnoff. Must a been half a dozen or so, swans I do believe. Is it normal to see them at this time?

    • Max says:

      Yes. They can stand all but the harshest winters here. Swans are hardy and can take cold temps as long as they have some unfrozen water shallow enough to reach the mud, veggies, and roots etc.. There were over a hundred a few days ago at the Walter Clough Bird Sanctuary in the Slocan.

  3. Christine says:

    Beautiful photo. You caught the drop of water.

  4. derek says:

    I was watching these two today. As they fed, they would wobble their bodies, likely paddling under the water, then stick their heads under to find what they shook loose.

  5. Irene McIlwaine. says:

    Many thanks for fine photos and interesting comments

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