Bird #235 — Mute Swan

cygnus (swan) olor (swan)

Thursday, March 3, 1983 — 5:20 pm

Barrington, Illinois — Baker’s Lake

This was great.  We moved into our new apartment in Schaumburg just a week or so before this, and now we were only a ten-minute drive from Crabtree and Baker’s Lake.  Around the apartment, there were a few ponds and a large field.  In the two years we lived there, I saw Soras, Common Snipes, Horned Grebes, Belted Kingfishers, Ring-necked Pheasants and a bunch of other stuff all on the block where I lived.

I headed to Baker’s Lake after work on this day.  The Mute Swan was swimming near the island, occasionally dipping its head and neck entirely under the surface.  It was huge, dwarfing the geese, especially in neck length.

I’d seen Mute Swans before, but I never knew if they were wild or escapees.  It probably wouldn’t have made much difference.  But I went to Baker’s Lake all the time and knew this one wasn’t a local pet, so I decided to count it.

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