27 November 2009

A Rest Stop for 10,000 Swans

There are special places
known for seeing masses of birds
at a certain time of the year.
One of these spectacular events is the fall migration
rest stop for tundra swans and other waterfowl
on the Mississippi River in southern Minnesota.

The swans start arriving in late October
from their nesting grounds in Canada.
They will rest and feed here until freeze-up
which is usually the first part of December.
Then they will finish their fall journey by
flying on to winter on the Atlantic Coast.

Tucked in amongst the island rivers are pockets of swans.
20 to 40% of the eastern swan population visit this location
known as Pool 8 on the Mississippi River
which is a National Wildlife & Fish Refuge.

In the foreground are the young swans called cygnets.
They have gray bodies with pink bills.

A family of swans

No comments: