Sound the Trumpets

If you’ve ever heard the sound of trumpets overhead, you’ve most likely seen the swans responsible for the brassy concert. Not only are trumpeter swans graceful in flight, but they make their own music to fly by.

These swans are enjoying pulling up the roots of the grasses planted in this field. They are tolerated, though not particularly loved by the farmers, as these birds can do a lot of damage to a freshly sprouted crop. At this time of year it’s not as big an issue and most people regard the swans as a beautiful decorative touch to the local scenery. You may notice that the grass is a bit frosty, making their meals a bit cool today.

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Sharing the fields with the trumpeter swans are the Canada geese. Please note they are NOT called Canadian geese. They don’t have passports and don’t have Canadian citizenship, so they are not Canadian geese. They are called Canada geese.  These birds are very tasty on the dinner table and are prized by waterfowlers. The expression “silly goose” does not apply to the Canada goose. See how smart these birds are? They know that the trumpeters are not legal prey for waterfowlers and so they hide  in plain sight among them for protection.

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For those who couldn’t identify the three kinds of birds in the previous post – “Is it Spring Yet?” I’ll help you out. In the photo below, the bird at the very top of the picture is a red-shafted flicker (woodpecker family), the birds in the middle are starlings, and the bird at the bottom of the picture is a robin.

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What birds do you see around you where you live? Why not leave a comment and share what you’ve seen?

20 thoughts on “Sound the Trumpets

  1. bulldog

    Anneli.. you don’t want me to list our birds, surely? I now have 387 (positive ID) and 257 (photoed) … love the swans but believe the geese are a bit of a pest in places in the USA… maybe that is why they call them Canadian, they want them to get passports…

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      Ha ha. You could be right there (about the geese)! When I asked visitors to tell about their birds, I should have specified “All except Bulldog, because he would have to write a book to tell about them all.” I was addressing the rest of the underprivileged world. 😉

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  2. Luanne

    I love birds. And I’ve been re-reading “The Ugly Duckling” (at the center of “Blueprint Your Bestseller”), so have been thinking of swans lately . . . . The geese must be very smart, but I am not surprised.

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      I think The Ugly Duckling resonates with many of us, very much like the Cinderella story. Interesting how some people love birds and others are indifferent. My mother loved birds and all her children do too, so there’s something to be said for making children aware of birds and animals (in a compassionate way) at an early age.

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      1. Luanne

        I agree. My kids definitely picked up caring about animals from me. But I didn’t get it from my parents. Maybe from my mother-in-law!
        The Cinderella story is behind a huge number of popular movies–sometimes the Cinderella character is an animal or a boy, not a girl.

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  3. Ursula

    I think I’ve seen ravens in between the Canada geese on your picture (without the passport). Canadians just wish that they would get the passport – hahaha. Unfortunately we don´t have those here (a problem with the visa maybe?)

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  4. Lori D

    Your bird posts are nudging me to get outside and get photos of the myriad of birds on the man-made lake in my subdivision. Florida birds. A lot of different types of cranes. The problem is, they aren’t always hanging around the lake, so I never know when I can catch them there.
    That ground surely does look frosty for those swans. If there were a dusting of snow, those birds would blend in.

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      The solution to your problem is to go often and ALWAYS take the camera. We would love to see some of these exotic birds on your blog. Here, I’m very limited by the small variety of birds that overwinter here. Would love to see some”warm” birds!

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  5. buchstabenwiese

    Bei uns auf den Feldern gibt es viele schwarze Vögel. Aber gerade diese schwarzen Vögel kann ich nicht auseinanderhalten. Ob Amsel, Drossel, Krähe, Rabenvogel oder was auch immer… da kenne ich mich einfach nicht aus. 🙂

    Liebe Grüße,
    Martina

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      Your comment made me look up these names that I knew in German, but hadn’t thought about in English. Amsel is our Brewer’s blackbird; Drossel is the thrush, so the robin is one kind of thrush, Kraehe of course, is the crow and the Rabe is a raven, which looks just like a crow only bigger. Thanks for the lesson! In my photo, there are starlings (Star, in German), a flicker (an kind of Specht), and the robin (Drossel).
      Thanks for your input, Martina.

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  6. townspirit

    Oh! I got the flicker right! We don’t have starlings here. This time of year there are plenty of house sparrows, blue jays, ravens, chickadees, whiskey jacks magpies and eagles.

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      You did! Very good. You’re lucky you don’t have starlings. They’re a nuisance and nest robbers. We don’t have magpies either. I always thought they were pretty, but it seems they aren’t too well liked. Must be their close relationship to the crow (which is not my favourite bird!)

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      1. townspirit

        Members of the raucous family! Starlings are a bit of a noisy rabble, too, aren’t they? Magpies are pretty, and ravens are very interesting to watch – one or two at a time.

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