A bevy, a lamentation, or a wedge..

Those are suggested names for a group of swans — certainly more classy than just “flock”.  However, there should be a special designation for the hundreds (thousands?) of swans that congregate along the Mississippi River in  Monticello, Minnesota, where heated water from the nuclear power plant keeps a large stretch of the Mississippi River open each winter.

Recently, photographer-naturalist Paul Sundberg photographed the “lamentation” (I’ve decided I like that appellation best) of Trumpeter Swans there and I encourage you to visit his Jan 20 “photo of the week” because the image below doesn’t do justice to his photos.

Photo by Paul Sundberg

Photo by Paul Sundberg

To really be impressed with the density of swans that congregate in this area, check out the video below.  One woman began feeding ducks and geese in her backyard in 1986, and it has escalated to feeding almost a ton of corn per day to a couple thousand swans along with the other waterfowl.  Click here to read a recent article about this endeavor.

UPDATE January 22 — I just found this wonderful post by Sparky, well worth a visit to his site, to see his video and photos of the Monticello (nuclear) Swans.

12 thoughts on “A bevy, a lamentation, or a wedge..

    • Indeed, and for such a long period — since 1986. That’s dedication! I think the MN DNR (natural resources department) might help with the cost of the food. The trumpeter swan had disappeared from the state and was in extremely low numbers throughout the US before programs like this got started to assist their survival.

    • Absolutely — but I would worry a little about so many birds in such close proximity spreading disease. But maybe in the winter, the pathogens have just as much trouble staying alive as warm-blooded creatures do.

    • I can’t imagine how the couple whose backyard has been taken over by the wintering swan horde can stand the racket. Maybe they wear ear plugs 24/7.

  1. Hi Sue – It’s nice that power plants can have some beneficial spin-offs. A big nuclear plant on the Florida coast provides warm water for hundreds of manatees (my favorite animal). Terry

  2. So many synonyms … and this is just for swans …. I find the lamentation quite unusual, but then all the English words for multiples are unusual (at least for foreign ears like mine).
    Very interesting post ….
    Now that I kow how to leave a reply I’ll comment more …
    Stay warm !

Please Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.