Enjoyable event late yesterday afternoon. I left work about 30 minutes early and drove down to Green Island to watch and photograph the Jackson County Interpretive Center release 3 swan cygnets back into the wild. Shown in this image are my friends Kevin and Ann Burns. Ann is a Naturalist for the Iowa DNR and Kevin works for our organization. There has been a decades long project in Iowa to reintroduce Trumpeter Swans back in the main wildlife echo system. They at one time were almost extinct and have since been brought back from the brink by efforts like the one at the Interpretive Center.
The female swan at the Interpretive Center has a damaged wing and can never fly again. They were able to acquire a male from another source and so each year the couple have 3 – 5 cygnets and they are then reintroduced into the wild. Quite a process. Although I had to shoot directly into the sun I did want to get an image of them before they were released. The people attending the release stood on either side of the ramp so the swans had to go to the water.
There were about 30 – 35 people there for the release. Ann did about a 20 minute talk on the Swans and the efforts to save them from extinction. She showed the difference between a chicken egg, goose egg, and a swan egg. The thing that really surprised me was just how big they are. I have taken hundreds of photographs of swans and was never really aware of how big they are. When you get up close and personal with them they are huge.
Kevin let the one he had free and she ran, flapping and tooting to the water, then calm as could be she just swam away. The others followed soon after and then all three were out in the middle of the small lake, swimming like they had been there for weeks. It was an enjoyable experience. Cold and windy but enjoyable none the less. I was also surprised by the number of iPads there. Many people used their iPads for movies of the event and to take pictures.
That’s it for today. Spring is coming, it’s just taking its sweet time of it. Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your day and be careful.