Denise Goldberg's blog

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Conversations with a mute swan

It was several years ago when I first saw a pair of mute swans in a wet area just off the New Hampshire coast near Jenness Beach State Park. Last year I started sometimes seeing a pair, sometimes seeing a solo swan, and sometimes seeing all three at the same time - but in different spots on the water. These large birds apparently mate for life; based on conversations with another photographer last year I believe that the solo bird that posed for me today lost its mate. It's also a bit unusual to see more than a pair in one spot since they are territorial and don't like to share their space.

As I stood there snapping photos the swan decided to walk towards me. Wow - that is one tall bird! According to this article on Wikipedia, a standing mute swan can be over 47 inches (120 centimeters) tall.

mute swan, paddling away

More photos can be viewed in the gallery Conversations with a mute swan.