So, as a result of my most recent visit to the Leslie Street Spit, I have learned that my bird book is a touch out of date. According to the range maps it contains, only Mute Swans and Tundra Swans visit my area of the continent. Trumpeter Swans are strictly a western phenomenon.
I saw this lovely bird and her little ones this past weekend. She was ushering them around a pond on the Leslie Street Spit, stirring up the water to bring nibbles to the surface for her brood to nosh on. She knew that she was under observation, but she was clearly confident in her ability to deal with photographers.
I am accustomed to seeing Mute Swans at the Spit, and so it wasn’t until I got home and looked at the photos carefully that I realized they were something else. Careful examination of the physical evidence suggested strongly that they were Trumpeter Swans, but the bird book was absolutely adamant that Trumpeters only live in the west. Therefore, they had to be Tundra Swans.
I was not satisfied. They did not look like the picture of the Tundra Swan in the book. I consulted the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Trumpeter Swans have recently begun to appear in central and eastern North America.
Side by side photos of Trumpeter and Tundra Swans clinched it. I really did see a Trumpeter Swan with her six cygnets on the Leslie Street Spit.