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Science & NatureNatureA waterfowl odd couple

A waterfowl odd couple

by Brent Eades

Andy Huyer sends these photos of an unusual pair of bird pals that took up residence on the Mississippi in Almonte in recent weeks.

I saw them from time to time though never when I had my camera with me, and I thought it a little odd that a Canada goose and a Trumpeter swan would be hanging out together for so long. But Andy identifies this as a Tundra swan, which I’m sure is right given the splash of yellow that shows by its eye on the bill.

Tundra swans aren’t hugely rare in Ontario but I’ve never spotted one before, myself. The only Almonte sightings of them reported to eBird seem to be this same bird. And I’ve sure never seen a swan becoming pals with a goose for an extended time — they’ll sometimes flock together on the same stretch of water, but an ‘odd couple’ like this is quite interesting!

They’ve moved on now, I think.

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