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Whistling Swans

Whistling Swans
Photo Information
Copyright: Ron Warner (tuslaw) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-05-10
Categories: Birds
Exposure: f/8, 1/500 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-05-11 19:05
Viewed: 2812
Points: 10
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I captured this photo of what I believe are Whistling Swans. I was at Magee Marsh and spotted this pair about a quarter mile away. I managed to sneak up to within fifty yards before they spotted me and took flight.
I noticed their upper necks seem to be stained, but this could just be their natural coloration. They were constantly dipping their heads under water feeding, so it might also be mud stains. If anyone can help to clarify this please feel free to do so.

jpdenk, Adanac has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To jpdenk: Whistling Swantuslaw 2 05-14 07:04
To demeve: Whistling Swanstuslaw 1 05-13 19:43
To Adanac: Whistling Swanstuslaw 1 05-13 19:34
To eqshannon: Whistling Swanstuslaw 1 05-12 17:11
To MartinL: Whistling swanstuslaw 1 05-12 17:00
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Critiques [Translate]


That's a very good capture. Unfortunately, I can't help you with the id at the moment. I have never seen this type of a swan before. At any rate, I'll do some looking tomorrow and maybe I'll find something interesting. (I highly doubt that it is mud on their necks - it is more likely their natural plumage but I could be wrong here)
You've done wonderfully here. TFS.

Best Regards,


I did a quick search because I have never heard of these and your question about the neck intrigued me. I did find some images on Ohio's DNR site which also showed them with similar markings....I am going to guess that it is a part of what they are and not of what they do....very nice set of the two however....a lovely day..or perhaps not so lovely for a human but nice for these two...

Hi Ron,

Very nice shot, I think you're right on the ID Whistling Swan, a.k.a. Tundra Swan. The other option is the Trumpeter Swan, a very rare bird nowadays. Tundra or Whistling Swans are roughly the size of a large Canada Goose, the Trumpeter's are significantly larger. And they do look like they've been rooting in the mud, they should be all white.

Nice shot Ron, thanks for posting it, that's a species that doesn't show up here around Chicago very often.


  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-05-13 16:12]
  • [+]

Hello Ron,
Superb composition with this nice pair of swans. The colors and details you have captured with your great eye and camera work are excellent. The staining on the white plumage I believe is exactly as you said it is staining from the minerals in the mud in which they feed down south. The ID of this pair I am struggling with, the tundra swan has yellow just in front of their eye at the base of the bill, I don't see that here. Anyway Thanks for the great image Ron.
Here is what I am struggling with:



Hello Ron,
Very nice couple, looks like they're enjoying the end of the
day. Great picture, well composed and very sharp.
..Well done


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