For this moment, I've waited 2 months - Updated with More Pics

Discussion in 'Nature' started by Yeats, May 20, 2013.

  1. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    Since March, when I saw her and her mate constructing a nest, I've waited for this moment. I've stopped by at least 3 or 4 times a week, taken pictures, picked up garbage, and generally kept an eye on things. I didn't get a chance to come by for the last 4 days, and finally - today - I did.

    Edit 5/23 - I finally processed my favorite images. I visited twice that day, as the sun was sporadically peeking thru the clouds.

    Two weeks earlier, this was the expectant momma...


    swan with eggs DSCF1615 by Yeatsy, on Flickr

    The, finally, the babies...


    swan and cygnets DSCF2336 by Yeatsy, on Flickr


    swan and cygnets DSCF2340 by Yeatsy, on Flickr


    swan and cygnets DSCF2355 by Yeatsy, on Flickr


    swan cygnets DSCF2413 by Yeatsy, on Flickr


    swan and cygnets DSCF2426 by Yeatsy, on Flickr


    swan and cygnets DSCF2442 by Yeatsy, on Flickr


    swan and cygnets DSCF2444 by Yeatsy, on Flickr


    swan and cygnets DSCF2367 by Yeatsy, on Flickr
     
  2. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. SC All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
    Wonderful! Congratulations.
     
  3. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    Thanks! I feel almost like a proud papa! :biggrin:
     
  4. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants SC All-Pro

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    That's lovely. I adore the mother's body language with the neck. Great shot!
     
  5. Nice.

    Hope they appreciated the support.
     
  6. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. SC All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
    I know how you feel. I once watched and photographed a hummingbird nest from the eggs to the empty nest when the chicks finally flew off. It was like the kids went off to college.
     
  7. retow

    retow SC All-Pro

    Jul 24, 2010
    Wow, a great shot.
     
  8. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    Wonderful find, Chris. I'm sure she knew you were there, wishing her and the babies well.
     
  9. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    Jul 13, 2010
    South Brent, south Devon (UK)
    Barrie
    Chris,

    This brought back memories of many years at a local nature reserve monitoring Mute Swan nests. I would suggest that given the attitude of the mother she is preening herself. In my experience she will preen in a prolonged and exaggerated manner for some hours, during which time the young will copy her (although some of those appear to be more intent on sleeping). By copying the mother's actions the young will actually spread preen oil on their own down such that when she takes them into the water for a few minutes some 24 hours after hatching they should hopefully all float and not get waterlogged. She will keep a careful eye on them and if any get waterlogged it's back to the nest to repeat the lesson.

    I've also observed that during that first 24 hours when they stay in the nest both parents will often pick repeatedly at the edge of the nest, again the young copy these actions. I've concluded that in so doing they obtain some insect food, flies and the like, by accident. Once they take to the water the parents will be able to drag weed up for them to feed on, although the young will still obtain some insect food from off the surface of the water.

    So many behaviours are learned by copying the actions of the parents.

    Barrie
     
  10. Archiver

    Archiver SC Top Veteran

    619
    Jul 11, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    Beautiful!
     
  11. spinyman

    spinyman SC Veteran

    223
    Dec 21, 2011
    Valley Center,Ca.
    David
    So very wonderful!
    I just went through a similar experience with a nest of four roadrunners.While cutting through a thicket of six foot tall cactus,I discovered the nest in the center.The young we're so well disguised that I thought the nest was empty.They were already huge when I first found them and stayed a week,then vanished.I tried to photograph them from two feet away and they just blended in with the sticks.I have Roadrunners running around my property daily.Now I'll have more!
     
  12. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    I'd bet they were simply wishing I'd leave. :biggrin:
     
  13. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    Y'know, Barrie, I did see at one point the mother was preening, and one of the cygnets came out of the water, settled down next to her, and commenced preening, also.
     
  14. Isoterica

    Isoterica SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    They are so fuzzy I want to touch!
     
  15. spinyman

    spinyman SC Veteran

    223
    Dec 21, 2011
    Valley Center,Ca.
    David
    What a wonderful world!
     
  16. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    Jul 13, 2010
    South Brent, south Devon (UK)
    Barrie
    One or two of your new images show preening activity by the young, so they seem to have learnt that important lesson. The adult female will now moult and become flightless for 5-6 weeks, then when she has completed her moult the roles will reverse to some extent, she will take over defence of the territory and the male will conduct his moult rendering him flightless. He will be spending more time with the young during that period. During the incubation the female will have lost up to 20% of her body weight, so it's very important she is able to feed well over the next few days to regain her condition.

    Barrie
     
  17. Biro

    Biro SC All-Pro

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    Chris... I know you have quite a long lens on that HS50... but how close could you get before Mom started hissing?
     
  18. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants SC All-Pro

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    Nice! Like the new pics. Great light also.
     
  19. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    How cool! :cool: We want pics!
     
  20. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    Love getting all this info from you... stuff I don't read on Wikipedia.