Last Saturday afternoon I had the immense pleasure of observing and photographing Trumpeter Swans on two of the Alexandria area lakes. Although we are in the heart of winter, the abundant rains we received last fall brought the lake levels up and saturated the ground. As a result, the streams that join the lakes as well as the shallower, heavier current spots in the lakes are staying open. That’s where I was finding the swans again today.

So what’s so great about this shot. To me it says just one thing. Family. For nearly 3 hours and over 1,000 frames I watched the two cygnets, mom and dad interact. Mom would never let them venture out too far without her going after them. Dad on the other hand would react more slowly to the wandering about and feeding that the cygnets were doing. However, he was constantly on the alert for anything that was suspicious or could possibly endanger his family. Finally, when some ice fisherman and snowmobiles were just getting too close and too frequent he decided that it was time to pack up and fly away. After about three minutes of head bobbing and positioning as if clearing the runway, they were up and away. What a glorious site as the golden afternoon rays reflected off their wings and bodies. As for this shot, f/16 at 1/750th second exposure captured the family in detail shortly before departure.



About Jim Rook

Wildlife, Landscape & Nature Photography, Alexandria, MN
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