Extra! Extra! Read all about it!
Male mute swan incubates eggs in the nest.
During breeding season, the easiest way to differentiate between male and female mute swans is by comparing the black knob at the base of the male’s beak. During nesting time, the cob (male) has an enlarged black knob compared to the smaller one of the pen (female).
If you look closely at the two nesting swans shown here, the swan sitting on the eggs has the enlarged knob signifying a male.
This is only the second time I have ever observed two mute swans on a nest together – a couple of weeks ago was the first sighting. Looking at that first photo (click here) it was the female sitting on the eggs back then.
My takeaway from observing these two at their nest over the past three weeks is that (some) mute swan pairs share (some) responsibility for incubating their eggs. I am not sure if they share that duty as equally as other birds, such as the great blue heron, or how universal this behavior is for other mute swans of North America. It’s a bit of a mystery.
I love a good mystery.
Thanks to Michelle W and WordPress for their Weekly Photo Challenge: Extra-Extra. This week, Michelle has challenged us to post a photo with an extra, unexpected detail. Seeing that it was the male swan incubating the eggs – and not the female – was an extra detail, one that I nearly missed, until I looked more closely at the photos from that day’s session.
Thanks to Sue for her A Word A Week Challenge: Happy. I’m guessing that the female swan is happy to have an egalitarian mate, one who shares the traditionally female chore of sitting on the eggs.
A selection of my heron and flower photos is now available at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area.
Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.
Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™
The Tao of Feathers™
© 2014 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)
Mute Swan, Kayaking
Posted on June 16, 2014, in A Word A Week Photo Challenge, Art, Audubon, Birds, Kayaking, Mute Swan, Nature, Photography, Photography challenge, postaday, Weekly Photo Challenge, Wildlife Photography and tagged postaday. Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.