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 its 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 here on Good Morning Gloucester, 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!

Golden Reeds and Rods ~ Where Did Summer Go?

Niles Pond Swan ©2014 Kim SmithI am procrastinating in getting out the warm woollies in hopes that Indian Summer is just around the corner. Do you recall it ever feeling so fall-like, so early in September?

Niles Pond © 2014 Kim SmithSeaside Goldenrod © 2014 Kim Smith copySeaside Goldenrod (Solidago sempervirens)