We already had goslings and ducklings in the nearby park (and merganserlings in Estonia), but now we also have two batches of swanlings. On Saturday night, I found mommy and daddy mute swan navigating an area of lily pads with their five offspring in tow. The cygnets kept getting distracted and the procession came to a complete stop when one of them discovered an emerging lily flower. The kids weren’t ready to move on until they’d all tasted a few petals.

Cygnets investigating a water lily flower
Five mute swan cygnets investigating a water lily flower

More pictures of the cygnets are on the shelf to your left.

Hungry ninja squirrel

I’ve been home sick with a stomach bug for the past two days. Entertaining me during this time was a hungry squirrel pulling off some serious ninja skills by climbing up our window and onto one of our bird feeders. The squirrel had been trying for days and apparently finally found a way to do it. It surprised me yesterday, and by the time I got my camera, it had left and didn’t return. Today I was better prepared and managed to catch the little acrobat on four successful attempts.

Click here to see another video…

Signs of spring

Winter isn’t over yet, but signs of its impending end are getting stronger. It’s no longer 0 °F or -20 °C at night—it’s only 15 °F or -10 °C. Five- and ten-inch snow storms have made way for two-inch storms mixed with an inch of rain. And birds that spent the winter down south are migrating back to their breeding grounds up north. Some of them stop over in Michigan for a day or two, where the ice on lakes and rivers is just melting. The opening waters also draw birds that live here year round out of hiding. It made Ann Arbor’s Geddes Pond a rewarding place to visit with my camera yesterday.

Close-up of a trumpeter swan.
Close-up of a trumpeter swan.

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