I met a fellow nature photographer (Jim Radford) quite by accident at a marsh near both of our homes, and he has graciously shared some of his amazing photos with me. I asked him if I could share some of them with my blog readers because they illustrate the subject of my last blog post (“red-necked swans“) so nicely.
Trumpeter Swans showing the rusty head and neck from iron staining are quite common among the thousands of swans overwintering at Monticello, MN. Photo by Jim Radford
Close-up of the iron staining on head feathers of a Trumpeter Swan. This stain does not leach out, but will only disappear when the head feathers are molted. Photo by Jim Radford
A good view of the many colors of Trumpeter Swan plumage. Juvenile birds (hatch year) have gray plumage, which gradually turns into pure white by the spring of the next year after hatch. A few birds in this shot show light patches of rusty-colored feathers from iron staining. Pristine white swan heads may be from birds with newly molted feathers, or birds may not have fed in streams or lakes with high iron-content water. Photo by Jim Radford
Is there anything more beautiful than the white on white of Trumpeter Swans flying overhead? Photo by Jim Radford