Sunday, March 20, 2011

War, War, War. (The Swans are at war.)

Well we have a war in Libya against a maniac killing his own people, war of course in Afghanistan, wars no doubt in many other countries, a sort of war in Japan against radioactivity and other tragedies, whilst here on The Lake the male Swan has, as usual in the Spring, declared open warfare on everything on The Lake.

Anything swimming on The Lake is fair game as far as he is concerned. I have been working outside today and every now and then I hear a tremendously loud sound, the beating of wings. He chases any Goose, Duck or Cormorant and even the occasional Kayaker until they leave. It seems to be in vain. While he is busy chasing off the next offender they casually walk back down into the water and start paddling around again until he has chased off everything else and gets back to them once again.
The male Swan is a very large bird and I have no doubt that if he were to attack me he could inflict considerable damage. A blow from his wings could probably break an arm or a leg.

In fact there are quite a few Canada Geese here that have injuries, mostly to their legs. At least they seem to be the most obviously damaged parts. I have no way of knowing if he did the damage but I did hear from someone that he was seen to kill one of the young geese a few years ago.

The problem is that his protective warfare continues for a long time. The local animal control authority oils their eggs, thus rendering them unable to hatch. The Swans don't know this and so instead of her sitting for the usual 5 or 6 weeks she sits there for several months and the male continues to wage his protective battle. It might be kinder to break the eggs but I suppose she would lay more then.

They stop the Swans from breeding because they are not native birds. They also do considerable damage to the grasses of the Chesapeake Bay, eating and pulling up a large amount of the grasses - which are in very short supply already, probably killed by all the weed killers that are poured into The Bay. Well OK, they weren't poured in, but they might just as well be. The millions of lawns surrounding The Bay are looked at as proudly by their owners as the Swans look at their huge eggs. The war by neighbor against neighbor to have the greenest most perfect lawn, takes no prisoners. Whether it is Swans, Canada Geese, Falcons, Owls, Osprey, Fish, Crabs or any other creature of our wonderful Chesapeake Bay matters not. They would willingly sacrifice every wonderful animal, bird, fish or insect just to have their lawn greener than Joe's lawn!

Meanwhile the battle goes on, Swan against all other birds threatening his mate and their offspring, conservationists against the killers of our flora and fauna and Ghadaffi against his citizens, when will it ever end?

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