Dear viewers, I have been driving by this pasture for a month or so now and I keep seeing this mass of white birds milling about on the green. At first I thought they were geese. Hmmm, I thought, that is a whole lotta white geese in one place. What's the deal? Finally I remembered to bring my camera with me (a new year's resolution I have been working on) and when I zoomed in on them I saw this:
Well holy moly, those aren't geese---they look like swans! After a consultation with the internet and a bird book I am inclined to think they are trumpeter or even tundra swans. I'm no ornithologist, so I'm just speculating. The ones you can see above with the darker heads, those are apparently juveniles. And, swans are in the goose family.
These guys have been gamboling about in this one pasture for several weeks now. When I mentioned it to a friend, his take on the situation is that its a big swan mating meet- n -greet. My bird book suggests these types of swans make their nests in March, so that would fit.
How delightful! And a definite sign of spring :)
SWAN UPDATE: a naturalist just told me that these are, indeed, tundra swans. Fabulous!