Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The Swans Of Lakeland-White Ones


Did you know that the official mascot for the city of Lakeland (here in Florida) is the swan? Yep, and they keep Lake Morton near the public library well-stocked with them. I shot a few of them on Easter, so here they are. It's tough to get a picture of this many together without getting some other random bird in the shot. I cropped a duck out of the bottom of this one, but you wouldn't know it if I didn't tell you.

I'm used to shooting big birds sometimes, but these guys are huge! The bodies are probably almost two feet long, and those necks add another foot or two.  If I remember the story correctly, the original swans were a gift from the then-new Queen Elizabeth II to Lakeland in the fifties.  I doubt if any of those original birds are still around (they would be really old, and they never look both ways before crossing the street), but I think these are their direct descendants.

And did I mention they are mean? Get too close and they will strike at you.  Refuse to give them the piece of bread in your hand and they will peck your eyes out!  I've never been hit by one, but I would imagine it hurts.

It's nesting season, and many of them were sitting on nests like this. One parent would be sitting on the nest, and the other would be nearby, keeping pesky photographers away and dragging more debris near the nest so the sitter could form it into a larger nest.

1 comment:

Darrin said...

Yes. I did know about the swans (long-neck ducks) and Lakeland.