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Friday Flora & Fauna – Whooper Swans

February 19, 2009

Well bloggers, it seems not everyone is that taken with the joys of nature. Declan is losing sleep over it! You see he lives beside a roost of Whooper Swans. ‘But’, I hear you say, ‘swans aren’t that noisy’ ….well these are, have a listen to the video. There’s no picture because it’s night but the sound of the swans is real.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Swans“, posted with vodpod

Known previously as the North American Trumpeter Swan, they are known as Gaeilge (Note: As our Antipodean General Manager has pointed out, the non-Irish among you may not know that as Gaeilge means ‘in the Irish language’) as Eala Ghlórach; the “noisy swan”. It’s not a wonder Dec is losing sleep. For a description of the species and comparisons with the more common Mute Swan see the BirdWatch Ireland page here.

Whooper Swan, Photo from Birdwatch Ireland, Breffni Martin

Whooper Swan, Photo from Birdwatch Ireland, Breffni Martin

They live in Iceland, comprising a population of over 20,000 and growing, and they fly south for the winter, some over-wintering in Scotland and lots, as in over 12,000, come to the island of Ireland. They gather at wetlands, lakes and turloughs (see this earlier FF&F for a description of turloughs!) and graze on improved grassland at various sites throughout the north and central parts of the country. They leave their grazing grounds just after dusk to return to their roosting wetland for a good chat after a hard day’s fieldwork.

So, Cheer up Dec, it’s not everyone has a welcoming party of whooping swans when they get home from work.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 19, 2009 8:57 pm

    Strangely enough Ger, I’ve never had trouble sleeping in Cities. Passing cars, trucks, drunks…. I’ve even slept through a raging fire in a skip outside my bedroom. But nature noises, birds, and more recently those swans, always disturb my rest.

    Thankfully they seem to have found new pastures over the past few days – and this virtual conversation with someone who I share an office with reminds of this (Via PZ Myers)…

  2. EcoWarrior permalink
    February 23, 2009 1:02 pm

    I’ve recently moved from Dublin to Wicklow and can’t sleep with the sounds of the feckin sheep. City traffic never disturbed me, but baaa flippin baaa all night long has me driven to distraction. And whiskey.

    Oh, and sorry to be utterly pedantic Ger, but the North American Trumpeter (Cygnus buccinator) and Whooper swans (C cygnus) are two different species – one was never called the other, though they are closely related and some taxonomists reckon they could be two races of the same species. Not that Declan gives a rat’s at 3am.

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