The Lost Swan

This is the first swan I’ve ever seen on this lake. It first appeared on the south end of the lake a couple of months ago. For the first few weeks this newcomer stayed far away from the geese and houses, back in the marshy reeds and it was too far away to photograph. One day it finally came close enough for a clear picture and it has been hanging out with the geese ever since. Apologies for the shaky videos. My tripod doesn’t work well and this old photographer’s hands are shaky.
This is the first time the swan swam from far down the lake and approached the geese. The geese are curious about her while the swan keeps her distance, in the beginning.
After being timid for weeks, the swan suddenly decided it wanted to join the geese. The geese were not so sure about that.
Watching the swan, I realize it is more than the long, curved neck that makes it look elegant. It’s also the way that it glides through the water so smoothly. It’s almost ethereal.
It is the end of the day and the swan is heading toward the west end of the lake. I’ve never seen her heading that direction before, so I’m worried that she’s finally leaving us for the winter. I heard her cries and felt as if she were saying goodbye. Now I’m thinking that perhaps she was calling out to her friends that she seems to have lost. She reappeared on the lake a few days later and she has still not gone for the winter. (Dec 28, 2021)
Once while I was just beginning to film her, she suddenly raised up in the water and rushed at a couple of geese with great rage. My camera didn’t catch the next few seconds when she was up in the sky, as high as any eagle or hawk has ever flown, chasing a pair of geese back and forth across the lake and making a great deal of noise. I was frightened they would kill each other they seemed so angry. The last time I saw them it looked like the geese were chasing the swan. It was a wild scene … the most amazing part was the size of that bird, that swan, so high in the sky like that. It’s neck was ridiculously long and didn’t match it’s huge body. How could anything that heavy and awkward looking take flight and maintain it? But it jetted back and cross through the sky with no effort. This swan is full of personality and vitality. I hope she finds her family.
The swan always seems to like being in the middle of the geese, despite their attempts to escape her. On this day, she seems to be pushing them around a little bit before leaving. There is no question who is the dominant species, but for some reason the swan seems to want the company of the geese. She seeks them out every day and follows them around. The geese, on the other hand, seem as if they could do without her. Where are her own kind? Has she lost them? It’s nice to see that they all live in harmony, despite their obvious differences and the occasional squabble.
It is amazing the variety of wildlife that exists on this tiny little lake, on a small subdivision that is surrounded by corn and soy fields. Illinois is graced with many small lakes that serve as safe havens for such beautiful wildlife..
HOMEThe Amazing Wildlife of Central Illinois
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