Category Archives: Nature Photography

Pictures of nature in the Hamilton area.

Swan hatches 4 cygnets at harbourfront park in Hamilton today

Monday June 28th 2010
Today was like most other days, but after seeing Swanny being very Delicate sitting on her eggs I new it was time.Today 4 out of 6 eggs produced cygnets.
Mom was shading the babies from the harsh sun and Humidic conditions, while I happily took these following Pictures.And so beginns the life of four little swans.
And this Photo journey of Swanny and her cygnets will continue. I will follow there progress all Summer, Fall and into the Winter, With more picture,s and stories.
The Hamilton waterfront offers Nature seekers the opportunity to Visit all year long.

Doug Worrall

White swan realises her eggs are beggining to hatch

Moday June 28th 2010

Today on the Hamilton “ontario” Harbourfront trust Went to visit the Site of the last nesting Swan on the Trail near the boat launch area at yacht club.
As I approached The Swans nest, which i refer to as “Swanny” She looked tired and distant.She made no defensive postures as I approached her so I new she was Exhausted after sitting on these egg,s for nearly 7 week,s now.She has taken all weight off eggs, and is moving them around constantly
So they have to hatch very soon. I am not an expert, but have been learning much about Swans. 35 40 days from the time the last egg in a clutch is laid. In cooler weather it may take the longer time. In the Canada White Swans may nest twice a year once in September and again in late February early March. In cold weather the tiny cygnets will need shelter and supplemental food. Birds will use any available material that they can carry away to build their nest – leaves, sticks, mosses, lichens, feathers. The Australian Yellow-faced honeyeater sometimes filches the thick fur from the back of a koala, a large bear-like mammal, to line its nest.

How long do swans sit on their eggs?

Is it normal for a swan to sit on her eggs for longer than the normal 6 weeks?
Yes. If she is still sitting on the eggs then she must be able to hear movement within the eggs. It may be that she lost her first clutch of eggs to a predator and has laid a new set – this would explain the extended “sitting” peri

The nesting female’s mate has disappeared/been killed – should anything be done?

No. She is quite capable of rearing the cygnets alone. People often worry that nesting females will starve to death when they have lost their mates as they are scared to leave their nests in search of food – this is incorrect. All female swans feast before nesting as they know food will be harder to come by once they are on the nest – it is normal for them to lose weight during the nesting period. That said, if a nesting female has lost her mate then she will be grateful for any food thrown to her within reach of the nest.

There’s a swan’s nest in a really vulnerable location – what can be done?

If the nest is vulnerable to interference from human factors, such as on a tow-path or the bank of a pond where people walk their dogs, then you should contact your local council and ask them to erect protective fencing around the nest. If the nest is vulnerable to natural events such as high tides & floodwater then it should be left alone so that the swans can learn from the experience – if a young couple lose a nest under these circumstances then they will learn not to build a nest so low down the next year. Sad as it is, they have to be allowed to learn from natural experiences which is one reason why it is illegal to interfere with a swan’s nest in any way.

Trumpeter swans usually mate for life and often use the same nesting site and food sources every year unless something forces them to change their pattern. Their offspring, called cygnets, learn migration routes and food sources from their parents. In the wild, trumpeters generally live about 12 years, but can live as long as 25 to 35 years.

In southern Ontario, trumpeters often mingle with mute swans (Cygnus olor), which are native to Europe and Asia. The two species also occasionally interbreed, producing hybrid swans, which is counter-productive for conserving the rare trumpeter.
Mute Swans Increasing in Numbers

Mute swans were introduced to North America as captive birds. By 1910, there were feral mute swans breeding along New York’s Hudson River. Since about 1940, their numbers have been increasing steadily. In the 1950s, some were released into the wild in Ontario, and the first feral breeding pair in Ontario was recorded in 1958.

Mute swans can be distinguished from North American swans by their bright orange bills with a black knob at the base. Numbers of this introduced species are growing so rapidly that they may soon be out-competing the native swans for the best food and nesting sites. They are notoriously aggressive and have been known to drown dogs and attack and injure people.
Also on Suite101
Action Plan for Species Recovery
When bird species are threatened, human intervention and an action plan for recovery can help. The Blue Chaffinch of Gran Canaria may yet be saved in this way.

Dr. Scott A. Petrie is Research Director of Long Point Waterfowl and a lecturer on Wildlife Ecology and Management at the University of Western Ontario. He has studied mute swan populations in the Great Lakes region of Ontario, and he is concerned about the effect these birds will have on native swans, geese and ducks.

“Several aspects of their ecology suggests that mute swans could be a particularly serious problem,” Petrie noted. “They are extremely aggressive, and occupy and defend large parcels of wetland habitat during the breeding season. They not only can displace native waterfowl from breeding and staging habitats, but have also been reported to kill adult and juvenile ducks, geese, and other waterbirds that enter their territories.”

He said mute swan populations are increasing as much as 30 per cent annually, and warned, “Mute swans are likely to pose a serious threat to native species of waterfowl and the integrity of the ecosystem if their populations are allowed to continue growing.”

He has suggested that mute swans be removed from the list of protected species in Canada and that the feral populations be controlled through culling or hunting to protect native species, in particular the majestic trumpeter swan, which so recently was in danger of vanishing altogether.

Hinterland Who’s Who: Trumpeter Swan

Petrie, Scott A., and Charles M. Francis. “Rapid Increase in The

Great Lakes Population of Mute Swans”. Bird Studies Canada, PO Box 160, Port Rowan, Ontario N0E 1M0.

“Swans in Cootes Paradise”. McMaster University Faculty of Science, Hamilton, Ontario, 1993.

Mom Swan, ready to hatch eggs in Hamiton Harbour

Saturday June 19th 2010

Today before I discovered the Gay pride week was going-on in Hamiton waterfron park, and concerts tonight.I stopped-in to see the Mom Swan with 6 eggs

ready to hatch any time.Am looking forward to that, also the gay cowboy rodeo that has a riding event each month.Talked with Peter Dillon and will be taking pictures

of there next event, and maybe set them up a website like this, It is quite easy, AND ITS FREE. Please get hold of me at, can do your Pets Page, Family etc…., its is a great place

to show off all your Pictures.Also will take the pictures for you and arrange and set-up of your very own web page.


Doug Worrall