Oct 3, 2014 – Carrollton, Texas

NOTE: This post is part of a continuing series of observations: [ First | << Prev ]

I believe I mentioned in my last Mute Swan update that it was going to be my final post for the year. Well, maybe not.

I was driving by the lake this afternoon, and I couldn’t help but wonder how the cygnet was doing. I decided to pull over and check in on the little fellow just one more time.

Its been nearly six weeks since my last visit to the park. Since that time, the young Mute Swan has changed quite significantly. In fact, I did not recognize him at first.

When I arrived at the water’s edge I was surprised to see what looked like three fully white ADULT swans together at the far end of the lake. What I had expected to see was the two white adults and one large gray juvenile. I wondered for a moment just what kind of arrangement might be at work here to bring three adult birds together in the same small pond. Mute Swans can be very territorial, and three is usually a crowd.

Just then the trio of the swans took to the air and began flying my direction. During the flyby it became evident that the third bird was really just the juvenile swan now sporting a mottled plumage that is around 85% white. And he was flying! Man, was he flying! What a great sight to see after all these weeks of watching him grow.

The young swan was evidently quite an accomplished flyer, but unfortunately his landing skills left something to be desired. Once the group had reached the marshy end of the lake the two adults touched down gently in the water just short of the reed bed, but things did not go as well for the juvenile. Instead, the inexperienced cygnet crash landed awkwardly somewhere deep in the dense cattail reeds.

His very dedicated and worried parents quickly made their way through the maze of vegetation until they found the wayward younger. Within minutes the group of three had reemerged no worse for wear.

Finding their way out of the reeds.
Guiding the youngster out of the reeds.
The cygnet with his mother.
The cygnet with his mother. The young swan is 24 weeks old in this picture.

NOTE: This post is part of a continuing series of observations: [ First | << Prev ]