Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Mid October Swanlings

This is my second swanling post. I added to the last one many times but now there is a real development. Feathers! 

A lot of the human chat around the pond is about whether the babies are getting feathers or are still covered in fluff and I have to admit I've not lost much sleep wondering which feathers might grow first on swans or any baby birds at all. If anything I'd have imagined a nice even coverage... But that's not how it is. The swanlings are growing wing and tail feathers first, and it makes perfect sense now I fhink about it because it's wings and a tail that will assist survival and escaping harm, more than anything else. I have noticed how vulnerable the swanlings are when they are away from the pond. Presently they rely on fire-breathing, protective parents, and fast waddling

Some of the swanlings are more advanced than others with the wing feathers, but if you look closely in this picture, you can see what I am talking about.

Here is a view from above on the viewing platform. Notice also the leg out of the water. This is a regular posture for both parents and the baby swans. I don't know what it is about. To dry out a bit?


20th October

26th October

Feather growth is rapid now on the wings and tails. There are small feathers on the necks also.

29th October

Here is a swanling in the water pipe that feeds the pond. You can see the white wing patch is starting to develop. The tails are well developed and it's hilarious watching the swanlings shake them.


1 comment:

  1. Oh how wonderful, to watch them grow. Fascinating. I've seen swans sticking their leg out before. The first time I wondered if the bird was deformed or the leg broken, but then it was just neatly tucked away when it wanted to. I've no idea either.