Tag Archives: Swan

DO SWANS DRINK SALTWATER?

male-mute-swan-cygnus-olor-www-kimsmithdesigns-com-copyright-2016In the above photo you can see our super smart Mr. Swan drinking freshwater from snow melting on the roof above his head, which was running down the gutters and into the harbor.

Mute Swans mostly drink freshwater (and a great deal of it) because most of the places that you find swans living at are on freshwater ponds, lakes, rivers, and inlets. However, just above the eyes and under the skin, swans have a gland that enables them to drink saltwater. This gland removes salt from their bloodstream and concentrates it into a solution that is excreted from their nostrils, which the swan can shake its head to clear.

There are a number of good folks in Rockport and Gloucester who keep a watchful eye on our local swans. Thursday I had the joy of meeting Lois and Serena, who have been feeding and observing the swans for over twenty years. They have photos of Mr. Swan (known as Buddy in Rockport) dating from 1998. He was already full grown by then, which makes him at least twenty years old. That is quite extraordinary as most Mute Swans in the wild live on average only to twelve years of age.

My deepest thanks and appreciation to Lois and Serena for the time they took sharing swan stories, the reading material lent, and for their kind and goodhearted nature, especially towards Buddy/Mr. Swan!

As you may or may not have read, I have been filming the swans over the past several years for a film project. If you have a Cape Ann swan story that you would like to share I would love to hear from you. Please contact me at kimsmithdesigns@hotmail.com. Thank you so much!

Beautiful Indian Summer Light

Scenes from around Niles Pond and Brace Cove October

Painted Turtle Niles Pond ©Kim Smith 2015Painted Turtle

Cattails in the wind ©Kim Smith ©2015Catinninetails in the wind

Brace Cove ©Kim Smith 2015Gulls departing Brace Cove after the storm

Great Blue heron Gull Seals Brace cove ©Kim Smith 2015Great Blue Heron, seals, and gull

See More Photos Here

Song Sparrow and Finch ©Kim Smith 2015Song Sparrow and FinchCattails in the wind -2 ©Kim Smith 2015