Date: 11/18/20 7:10 am From: Joel Geier <clearwater...> Subject: [obol] Re: Trumpeter Swan or Tundra Swan?
Solitary juvenile swans are tricky. I agree with Matt Cahill's comment that the neck shape (also shape of the back, and the crown of the head) are suggestive of Tundra Swan rather than Trumpeter, and this bird is showing more white and silvery gray than I'd expect for a juvenile Trumpeter at this stage of the season.
The third photo in Rebecca Hartman's sequence shows that the eye is clearly set back from a bare-skin area that rises at a steep angle from the chin, further supporting the ID as Tundra Swan. The second photo also clearly shows that the bill/forehead profile is concave (despite the optical illusion created by pond ripples -- a common problem to beware of when examining this feature in photos of birds on water).
I've never put much stock in the "pointiness" of the forehead feathering. Number one, that's can be hard to see in typical field conditions. Number two, those feathers can be messed up on actively feeding birds.
BTW, the flock of Trumpeter Swans that had been slowly gathering on a pond near Airlie in s. Polk County reached a peak count of 6 (all adults) about a week ago, but since the start of rainy weather they've gone AWOL, perhaps using some recently-saturated field that's out of sight from the roads, or up in the Maple Grove area which I haven't checked lately.