Fall Migration

Trumpeter Swan at Potter Marsh, Anchorage, Alaska.

For the last 4-5 weeks swans have been migrating south and stopping for food and rest at Potter Marsh in Anchorage. These large white birds—both Trumpeters and Tundras—stay only a short while before continuing their journey toward temperate wintering grounds. This fall has been relatively mild, leaving a lot of open water in the marsh for them to perform their little swimming-in-place dance to stir up decayed vegetation and then stretching their long necks well below the surface to gather the bounty. Feeding in this fashion for extended periods of time results in head and neck feathers taking on rust-colored stains. Once these elegant visitors depart, winter is sure to be close behind.

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