I took a long hike along the Kenai River today and was fortunate enough
to see a nice family of Trumpeter Swans.
These birds are the heaviest birds native to North America.
This particular family did not migrate out to Texas or California in the fall.
It seems that every year there are about 15 to 20 swans that don't make the journey out and
stay the cold winter at Kenai Lake until it freezes over. Once the lake is frozen, they
move towards the upper portion of the river. I have seen them sleeping out on the
frozen lake in the middle of winter. A good spot to be to observe predators.
I'm always amazed at how they withstand our cold winters. They have a
lifespan of around 33 years. The darker swans in the photos are cygnets, or last years
babies. I was astonished that they let me approach them today, I think the warm
sunshine kept them from swimming off.