A big thanks to everyone who shared their thoughts, both on-list and off,
regarding the swan i.d. And thanks, Joel, for the informative link. I
learned a lot through the conversation. It seems more folks voted Tundra
than Trumpeter; I assure you I won't ask for a recount!
On Wed, Nov 18, 2020 at 7:10 AM Joel Geier <clearwater...> wrote:
> 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.
> Thanks to Rebecca for sharing these interesting photos! Here's a good page
> to keep bookmarked for juvenile swan ID:
> https://www.trumpeterswansociety.org/swan-information/identification/juvenile-swan-identification.html >
> 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.
> Joel Geier
> Camp Adair area north of Corvallis
Dr. Rebecca Hartman
Associate Professor of History
Eastern Oregon University
*The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to
grow sharper.”*― Eden Phillpotts