Mute Swans, Cygnus olor, are big birds and there are a number of adult pairs in Vancouver's Stanley Park plus a number of juvenile swans from last year. I haven't taken the time to count them but perhaps on one of my visits I should do just that. According to the National Audubon Society's, The Sibley Guide to Birds, this bird's length is 60 inches, the wingspan is 75 inches and it weighs on average 22 pounds (10 kg). That's one good-sized bird. There is a female mallard duck, Anas platyrhynchos, in the upper left-hand corner of the top photo. This bird by comparison is 23 inches in length, has a wingspan of 35 inches and weighs 2.4 pounds (1,100 g). This gives you some idea of the size difference. So naturally, there is a lot of preening to be done to keep the feathers clean and in order. Here is a series of photos taken at the Lost Lagoon on Sunday afternoon, an overcast but rainless day. I sat on a park bench for a long while watching this one adult swan start preening in the water and then continue on shore.
This is a graceful bird in the water but movement on land looks very laboured. On one of my visits I even noticed a swan that was "pigeon-toed." Click on the photos to get a closer look.
Ever wondered where the idea for goose-necked or swan-necked lamps came from? Well, nature would be an obvious source of inspiration. Here you see the swan stretching way to the wingtips and the tail.