Tundra Swans


“We’re here!”Β  Yes, the Tundra Swans have arrived to the Chesapeake Bay region!


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Tundra Swans


Typically, you would find them in the surrounding waterways and estuaries, but several weeks ago, I continued to find this small flock resting each day in a farm field for a few weeks before moving on.


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Tundra Swans


Tundra Swans breed in the remote arctic tundra of North America and visit the U.S. during migration and winter. The majority of the Tundra Swan population that breeds in eastern Alaska (east of Point Hope) migrates 4,000 miles to winter here in the Chesapeake Bay and coastal mid-Atlantic region.


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Tundra Swans ‘on alert’ stance as a farm tractor begins to pass between them and me


I captured these two pairs coming in for a landing one of my days’ stops alongside the road.


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Watch Out!


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No one on the ground cares πŸ˜…


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Landing gear down…..


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Another days’ stop I witnessed and photographed a squabble between two pairs.Β  That post forthcoming!

Our local Eastern Neck NWR hosts over a thousand Tundra Swans each winter, and they’ve been continuously arriving for weeks.Β  They come to feed almost exclusively on the delicacy of our clams that they dislodge from the mud.Β  The swans can be found throughout the refuge’s waters, but the best place to view them is at the Tundra Swan Boardwalk.Β  After the holidays, I’ll be making some trips over there!


56 thoughts on “Tundra Swans

  1. It’s an amazing sight to see so many of them. I may try going to Eastern Neck NWR again. Several years ago I went in November and there were none then.

    • I’ve always understood January/February as the best months for the largest congregation sightings. They just start arriving around Thanksgiving. I’ve had no time to check out the refuge but will go after the holidays and post what I see. πŸ™‚

  2. Such beautiful birds Donna and what a treat to see! Thank you so much for sharing πŸ’–

  3. I captured similar shots of Sandhill cranes in Kearney, Nebraska. They migrate every March and cross that area. All fields and whole sky gets covered with them. Nice shots 😊

    • Thank you! There’s nothing quite like the sight of a sky full of large birds passing over! The sound is incredible too! I’d love to see Sandhill Cranes filling a sky. 😊

  4. Marvelous shots, but they do look a bit clumsy approaching their landings. I was envious of your swan sightings until you mentioned hoping to catch the sandhills… does that make us about even? πŸ˜‰πŸ€—

    • Thank you, Gunta! Ok, we’re even! πŸ˜‰ It shows on e-Bird that Oregon’s coastal areas (probably inland mostly) host Tundra Swans over the winter too. Good luck, maybe you can find them! πŸ™‚

      • We’ve been to some refuges in the Eastern part of our state and that’s where I’ve had several sightings of the Sandhill Cranes (and Oh! What a THRILL that was!), but it sounds like there should be some Tundras in that same high desert landscape, but perhaps it hasn’t been the right time or place. ☺️
        Sending heartfelt wishes for your family, hoping your dad is improving. πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•

  5. πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘ŒπŸ‘ŒπŸ“·πŸŽ¬πŸ“½πŸ’– Great short photo story(with comments). I wish you a peaceful and happy Christmas DonnaπŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’

  6. Wow! So beautiful… I love how big those feet look when they’re flying, as if they might weight them down like anchors. Must be great for paddling, though. πŸ™‚

  7. Great shots, I always enjoy seeing where the birds go when they go further south. I know they are still on their journey, but still, it is like we are ” checking in” on each other.

  8. Donna, thanks for taking a look at ospreypaddler and for showing someone from the mountain west a portion of the Chesapeake’s beauty with its abundant swans.

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