Monday, January 18, 2010

Ducks and Swans at Lake Ontario

We went down to Lake Ontario to check out the ducks and swans that stay in Ontario rather than grab their passports and head into the States. The population of birds that do stay is remarkable. A great spot to find swans is at Cherry Beach and Humber Bay. In winter the ducks, geese and swans look for areas of the Lake that are not ice covered altohough even the swans can take off and land on the ice - see the three Trumpeter Swans taking off above.

Further to the west is a large colony of swans, geese and mallard ducks. They feed the birds to try to tag the swans. At feeding time the swarm of birds dive into the corn and if they are lucky one swan will come close enough to be wrestled to shore and tagged. Sometimes the birds get spooked and take to the air in a wild melee of wings.

The Trumpeter Swan (black bill) is a Canadian success story as they were started from eggs and captive couples placed into the wild and now continue to spread and thrive. The other swan is the Mute Swan which has the orange bill.

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