Collecting these off the water reminds of my childhood, sticks tied to sticks, tied to sticks, until the flimsy contraption reaches out over the lake like a severed leg from a Louise Bourgeois spider and drags its prey to the shore.
Mute Swans typically moult in July or August each year, during which time they are unable to fly. Breeding pairs do not moult at the same time as they, and any offspring, would be too vulnerable to attack, so I have the next swans moult to look forward too ! They are unable to fly for approximately 6 weeks from the time that they lose their flight feathers to the time they have grown new ones. Swans hatch up to 10 eggs at a time with the expectation of losing several of them. It is not uncommon for all the cygnets to be lost to predators, nor is it uncommon for most of them to survive – it all depends on the location and the natural protection afforded them. As the parents grow older they learn from the experience of previous years. Currently one survivor on the lake. #loveswans #lovefeathers @kestinhare @natgeo