..." They Say for Every Boy and Girl "...
Explore # 1 ! 14-06-'09 !
...There' s Just One Love In This Whole World...
...If You Like This ~ Check This Out...
Growing Up... ~ ~ www.flickr.com/photos/kap_n_kaos/3864701764/
For the past few weeks I have been monitoring a mute swan on her nest of rubble and polythene sheeting amongst other things in a derelict dockland area not to far from the site of the ' Liver Birds ' and close to the River Mersey !
I hadn' t been for 5 days and as it turned out, the cygnets, 8, had hatched a week previous ! Sods law dictated the light being poor and I only had my budget 70-300mm lens ~ so the shots were not to hot ! ( see the previous photo' ) I returned the next day with my tri-pod and better lens only to find the whole family had gone !
On my next visit three days later, to my delight they returned to the same nest site and it was fascinating to watch the behaviour of them feeding ~ the pen and cob would opps-up, bottom in the air, the neck and beak would strech out underwater and then return to normal dropping algae on the suface of the water !
At this point the tiny cygnets would circle around and devour the algae very quickly ~ then immediately swim to the other parent for a repeat performance ! Whilst this was going on, there was a constant ' Peep-Peep-Peep ' sound from the youngsters !
Technical Stuff !
The Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) is a species of swan, and hence in turn a member of the duck, goose and swan family Anatidae. It is native to much of Europe and Asia ! It is also an introduced species in North America, Australia and southern Africa ! The name 'mute' derives from its being less vocal than other swan species, though it is not always silent !
Adults of this large swan range from 125 to 170 cm (49-67 in) long with a 200-240 cm (79-95 in) wingspan. They may stand over 1.2 m (4 ft) tall on land. Males are larger than females and have a larger knob on their bill, which also tends to be a deeper orange colour !
The Mute Swan is one of the heaviest flying birds, with males (known as cobs) averaging about 12 kg (27 lbs) and females (known as pens) more than 8 kg (19 lbs) ! Its size, orange-reddish bill and white plumage make this swan almost unmistakable at close quarters !
Young birds, called cygnets, are not the bright white of mature adults, and their bill is dull greyish-black, not orange, for the first year ! The down may range from pure white to grey to buff, with grey/buff the most common ! All Mute Swans are white at maturity, though the feathers (particularly on the head and neck) are often stained orange-brown by iron and tannins in the water !