Wednesday, 24 June 2015

The Success And Failures Of The College Waterfowl

The Abandoned Swan nest
There have been success and failures within the waterfowl community on the college lake this year. Starting with the bad news, a number of mallards had broods of ducklings but none survived for more than 48 hours, the Moorhen chicks didn't survive much longer. The biggest disappointment though was finally realised this week, no cygnets again, the swans abandoned their nest and their 3 eggs today after 9 weeks incubating them. This is the third year that their eggs have not hatched but, as with last year, the swans have remained on the lake.

5 Weeks Old
The good news, the success of the Canada Geese in the raising of their two goslings. At 5 weeks old the flight feathers are growing from the blue quills, see above photo.

6 Weeks Old
At 6 weeks old the white undertail, black head and neck with the white chinstrap are all visible, the goslings looking more and more like their parents.

7 Weeks Old
Today, at 7 weeks old the fluffy down has almost all gone and their flight feathers continue to grow and will, by 9-10 weeks old look like their parents feathers, see below for photo. 

Adult Canada Goose Flight Feathers
Two contrasting stories, maybe next year it will be the swans turn for success.

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