Readers’ wildlife photos

Stephen Barnard from Idaho sent photos of Trumpeter Swans (Cygnus buccinator), but also another bird (the first photo) that he couldn’t identify at first, but now says is a male House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus).  Stephen’s notes

Here are a couple of in-flight sequences of Trumpeter Swans, an adult and a closely following juvenile, over Loving Creek. Maybe it’s my imagination, but the juvenile appears less adept.

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21 Comments

  1. TJR
    Posted December 20, 2016 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Just to say thanks to all the photo contributors here, inevitably those posts don’t get too many comments, but we all look at them.

    Stephen Barnard’s are particular highlights, we should get him signed up for Planet Earth III.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted December 20, 2016 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      Just as a note for those who get BBCA. The Planet Earth series starts on Jan. 29th I believe.

      Trumpeter is the largest flying bird in North America, I think. Just incredible this bird.

      • Mark Sturtevant
        Posted December 20, 2016 at 8:38 am | Permalink

        Not the California condor?

        • Stephen
          Posted December 20, 2016 at 8:51 am | Permalink

          The Trumpeter Swan is heavier. Their wingspans are about the same.

    • Posted December 20, 2016 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

      How about publishing a wildlife calendar?🐦

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted December 20, 2016 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      That is a high compliment. In my dreams, or, if against all evidence to the contrary, I have another life.

  2. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted December 20, 2016 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    I suppose many of the RWP contributors are professionals. Still, this sequence is spectacular!

  3. rickflick
    Posted December 20, 2016 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    The swans look incredibly graceful. These shot’s are much like a film but frozen in poses for careful examination and admiration.

  4. Debra Coplan
    Posted December 20, 2016 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    This is an amazing group of photos.
    I love the way the swan appears suspended in the sky.
    And the pastel colors make it look like a painting.
    Thank you so much!

  5. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted December 20, 2016 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Top form, as always, Stephen!

  6. Posted December 20, 2016 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Great photos Stephen! 🙂

  7. David Duncan
    Posted December 20, 2016 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Stephen, is the water from Loving Creek drinkable without treatment?

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted December 20, 2016 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Yes. It’s very pure spring water. My dogs drink it all the time. There isn’t much chance for nasty stuff like giardia to get into it.

  8. Janet
    Posted December 20, 2016 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    We used to visit remote campsites in Tweedsmuir Park British Columbia and learned of the pioneer Ralph Edwards who, along with his family, saved the Trumpeter Swans from extinction. Very inspiring. Here is wikipedia on him: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_Edwards_(conservationist)

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted December 20, 2016 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      Outstanding…

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted December 20, 2016 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      Very interesting. I had no idea.

      Trumpeter Swans are abundant here in the winter. I owe a debt to Ralph Edwards. They’re magnificent.

      Trumpeters are protected by law thought their range, I believe, but they’re sometimes mixed in with Tundras, which are hunted and which look very similar to Trumpeters. VERY similar. They’re also mixed in with commonly hunted waterfowl such as ducks. They experience gunfire and there are accidents, which I believe contributes to their surprising spookiness — surprising because their size makes takeoffs difficult.

      A common cause of mortality here is hitting power lines. When this happens the electric company installs reflectors, which seem to be effective.

  9. Merilee
    Posted December 20, 2016 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Beautiful swan pics, Stephen!

  10. Posted December 20, 2016 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Time and time again I stop by here just to say “MAGNIFICENT!” to the Readers’ Wildlife Photos.

    Carl Kruse

  11. Frank Bath
    Posted December 20, 2016 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Great shots, well done. I was reminded of big jet airliners and Concorde.

  12. Diane G.
    Posted December 20, 2016 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    What a treat! Nice to see part of the dorsal surface of the juvenile’s wing plumage–don’t think I’ve ever had such a good look at it. Nor have I ever noticed they have brown feet!

  13. Lauren
    Posted December 21, 2016 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the wonderful photos!


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