Friday, 31 December 2010

Identifying swans

Suppose you were confronted by a sight like the family of swans in the photograph. You could, of course, wait for them to surface and show their bills thus revealing whether they are Whooper Swans or Mute Swans. Or, you might be in too much of a hurry to wait, or only have the photograph to rely on, on maybe even want to impress someone with your identification skills!
Well, compare the family with the single bird and from now on you are in possession of the invaluable (?) knowledge that Whooper Swans have rounded tails and the Mute Swan have pointed tails, and thus you need never have a problem with swan identification again (except with the Bewick's Swan, of course - another rounded tail, though smaller!)
This may well come under the heading of "Not many people know that", not to mention being one of the top 50 facts about birds you didn't really need to know, but maybe one day it will come in useful. What about including it in a bird quiz, for example?
Of course, you have to take it on trust that I know what I am talking about :-))
Have a good Hogmanay!
Malcolm
Whooper Swans
Mute Swan

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