Had a super time hiking this morning on the dikes of the MacQuarrie Wetlands near Wrenshall, Minnesota. My good friends, Mike Furtman, had keyed me in to this amazing habitat just outside of Duluth. Quite frankly, I was amazed to find these wetlands in the Namadji River watershed, only a couple miles off one of my bike routes (Military Road). If you know the Nemadji area, you understand rolling hills.
Although the Trumpeter Swans in the first photo may look peaceful and graceful, the situation is 100% different. I watched the lead swan get chased away by “many couples” from various wetland ponds shortly after sunrise this morning. The cob (male swan) was trying to “swipe someone else’s woman”, and in each case the bonds formed by the couples were strong and they jointly chased away the interloper ... trumpeting the entire time. It was noisy beautiful!
The ponds had only gone ice free a few days before, and the “early migrants” were not about to give up their prime nesting spots to late arrivals … let alone break up a perfectly good relationship.