Animalia chordata aves anseriformes anatidae cygnus buccinator

A couple years ago, I got all incensed when news came out that a family of Trumpeter Swans living in/on an area pond had been killed. The online thingy that is supposed to be replacing our old newspaper, affectionately referred to as the Planet Ann Arbor Snooze, initially reported that they had been shot. Ultimately, it turned out that they had been hit by a car. Very sad but they were living in close proximity to a road with a relatively high speed limit and stuff happens. Once I was driving along M-28 in the Yooperland and, of all things, a Great Blue Heron took off from the side of the road just as I was passing by. Before I had time to react, it glanced off the POC’s windshield. I *think* it was unhurt. I had been watching like a hawk for deer and drunk drivers. Great Blue Herons? WTF? Anyway, Trumpeter Swans are now back on that pond, according to the facebook group I joined at the time.

Actually, I am afraid of swans. Have you ever managed to steer your personal watercraft too close to a swan’s nest? If you do, watch out for Daddy Swan. He will not be happy. Once upon a time, the GG and I took our canoe down to Gallup Park to help out with the Urine Huron River spring cleanup. A canoe is a fight in my not-so-humble opinion but this was B. K. (Before Kayaks) and somehow we managed to not kill each other. At one point, we ventured unwittingly over into a Swan Area… Oh, look at the bee-yoo-ty-ful swans… Um, wait a minute… That swan is steaming along right toward us… He has a rather determined look in his eye… And I am in the FRONT OF THE CANOE… I wonder if he is stronger than me (probably)… I wonder if I will be able to ward him off with my paddle (probably not)… Fortunately, we didn’t come to blows. As we steered back out into the middle of the pond — away from the nest, I can only guess — he backed off, although he kept a bead on us for quite some time.

I wonder why baby swans are called cygnets. I guess I could query The Google. And I did and cygnus is Latin. I remember reading a children’s book about baby aminals to Elizilla over and over and over. It was a simple baby board-type book and it is probably still somewhere in the Landfill Dungeon. Mama aminal. Baby aminal. Cygnet is not the easiest word for an emerging talker. It was probably the hardest word in the book. I can still remember her saying it.

Uh, buccinator?

3 Responses to “Animalia chordata aves anseriformes anatidae cygnus buccinator”

  1. Pooh Says:

    Ask Le Marquis about his experience with nesting Canada Geese! When we see (and hear) the trumpeter swans in the winter, they always sound more like clarinets than trumpets. A whole flock sounds like a klezmer group, IMHO.

  2. Sam Says:

    One of my less-happy driving memories is of the time I hit a pair of mallards. It didn’t matter that I was driving in Canada.

  3. Pooh Says:

    “A canoe is a fight…” No, no your other right!

    I missed your excellent description the first time.