Tundra Swan Squabble


All was quiet with the few dozen Tundra Swans at the farm field when I pulled up to them one morning last week.  They were stretched in a line, parallel with the road.  I quickly saw an oddball in the mix and got my lens on a small Snow Goose.


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Tundra Swans and a lone Snow Goose (center)


Just as quickly as I spotted the Snow Goose and got a couple shots, I lost track of it when I heard some action going on with the swans.

A pair of Tundra Swans to the far left of the line had started squawking and strutting down the line towards the center.

How another pair on the far right knew it was them being squawked at who knows, but that far right pair decided they had things to say as well and started their squawk strut to the center too.

And then the showdown began!


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Two pairs of Tundra Swans meeting in the middle, starting a ruckus


Whether it was a verbal squabble or an excited greeting when they met in the middle, it was fun going through to pick a few photos to share the Tundra Swans’ communication expressions and body language.


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Tundra Swans #01
(a fifth one got caught standing behind them as the four went at it)


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Tundra Swans #02


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Tundra Swans #03


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Tundra Swans #04


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Tundra Swans #05


It looked like the pair on the right were larger and had the upper-hand, causing the other pair to retreat back.  I needed to get going myself, so I left and missed the final outcome.


38 thoughts on “Tundra Swan Squabble

    • Thanks, Mike! Yea, he’s like, “I’m not getting into that!” lol I cropped each of the shots, the full view had 6-7 standing to the left and in each shot, those 6-7 never moved, I thought that was hilarious too!

  1. Interesting behavior! I’d like to think they were greeting long-lost family. 🙂 “Sadie! Michael! Is that really you? It’s been a dog’s age since we last saw you!” ;D

  2. What interesting action. It almost looks like a dance routine, but I’m sure the noise said something different.

    • Thank you, Susan! The shots look like they are dancing or having a good laugh, but you’re right, the noise was different. I’m leaning that it was showing “who’s the boss” in the small flock.

  3. Great captures of the squabble Donna, swans can be very aggressive similar to geese and will stand their ground, which is why our Black Swans breed so well now all over our country.

  4. This was great! I love catching action scenes like these. It gives the birds some personality. My biggest problem is sorting through all the too-too many shots (even though I finally learned and QUIT shooting rapid shutter!) Made me laugh the way that bystander (the 5th one) just sidles on out of the way…..
    Wishing you all the best, as always. Pretty sure I managed to wish you a Merry Christmas, but just in case….
    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas (even if it’s almost over)!!! Must have been fun to see the grandbabies (I hope!!!) ???) 🙏🤞

  5. Great photos and expressions of behaviour. Just chillin’ after Christmas-literally. The high is minus 27 and the low minus 35.Celsius, but getting close to being the same as fahrenheit..

    • Thank you, Jane! I love capturing those expressions, can’t help but hope they are smiling! hehe Oh my, that is cold! We literally had a jump of 15 degrees F yesterday, so I took advantage and went for a couple hours to my local NWR in hopes of seeing more Tundra Swans on the water. They were there too. 🙂

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