Tuesday, December 2, 2014


North Chain Lake
South Bend, Indiana

It has been a good year for waterfowl on our lake. We have had Canvasback, Redhead, Common Goldeneye, Ruddy Duck, Horned and Pied-billed Grebe and Common Loon. For the past week, we have had the pleasure of having 4 Trumpeter Swans on the lake - an new yard bird.  I was a bit surprised when they paddled over to our side of the lake and eventually in front of the house. They are huge, spectacular birds.

This picture shows some of the defining characteristics of both adults and juveniles. They are distinguished from the smaller Tundra Swan by the lack of a yellow lore and large, sloping bills. The juvenile's bill is darker overall than Tundra's, especially at the base.

Their long necks enable them to dabble in much deeper water than other waterfowl.