Kerin who blogs at The Lion's Paw asked . . .
Did the swans come back this year? (Summer 2006)
The swans winter over in their territory, so they've been around since I wrote about the swan nest at the fish hatchery in the summer of 2005.
Today, in honor of Kerin's question, I took some pictures at a spring fed pond about a half mile from home where a few immature Mute Swans (Cygnus olor) have been spending the winter.
This pond is large, shallow, and never freezes because of the constant flow of spring water.
Mute swans reach sexual maturity in their third year.
The swans in this pond look to be immature. They haven't reached full size yet, 27 pounds for a male and 20 pounds for a female. They lack the adult yellow bill and their feathers have not turned completely white.
I'm not a swan expert, but I would guess they are last year's cygnets.
Now that I have a camera with a good zoom lens, there may be more swan pictures.
The swans are attractive and interesting but they are not shy birds. They have a nasty temper, wings strong enough to break knitting fingers, and they are very territorial. I like to give them plenty of space.