CLOSED: What kind of swan?

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

Hi there, I'm up in Eastern Iowa for work from April through August and I'm seeing lots of really cool stuff that I've never seen before in Houston! I'm living in Amana Iowa to be exact.

There is a large shallow pond down the street that is covered in lily pads (hence the reason it's called lily lake/pond!) that I frequently walk around. I've noticed a pair of swans that showed up at the pond a couple of weeks ago & haven't left. It seems they have a nest now in the middle of the lake on a large pile of fallen trees.

I noticed that their heads have this rusty brownish color so it's throwing me on the ID. The other swan (that's busy sitting on the nest) has a little bit of the brown too but not as much as this one. Until today I was never able to get close enough for a photo, but today I got lucky! This guy/gal was snoozing on the shore with its head tucked in its feathers and I may not have even seen it except when I walked right by it he/she poked its up head to look at me. It just sat there while I got pictures and then I went on my merry way and it went back to sleep. I almost had a stroke! Had never seen non-captive swans till I got here.

I was thinking maybe they are trumpeter swans and perhaps their heads are discolored from the water? Could be tundra swan also. This was a HUGE bird. I was rather surprised at its size. Can't wait to see if little baby swans will be showing up soon!

I got a photo of one swimming in the sunset a few weeks ago but it was too far for a good ID. Still a great photo though 👍

Thumbnail by rntx22 Thumbnail by rntx22 Thumbnail by rntx22 Thumbnail by rntx22
Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

Yep, Trumpeter Swans. They breed in Iowa, whereas Tundra Swans don't (like their name says, they migrate up to the arctic tundra to breed).

The rusty brown on their heads is iron staining from the mud at the bottom of the pond, where they are rooting around for food. It's quite common, but varies a lot according to how much iron there is in the water and mud at each location.


This message was edited Jun 7, 2017 11:59 PM

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

Cool thanks!

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