Dance of the Swans

We’re lucky to see both tundra and trumpeter swans in Western Washington during the winter. Thousands of the big white birds spend the winter here before leaving to nest in the spring.

Here’s an imaginary conversation I think the swans would have about their flights across the landscape, as they take off and head to other feeding and resting areas. They make flying look so effortless and freeing, as though they’ve created a carefully choreographed series of movements!

“Start with leading bird with wings down and we’ll end with the final bird wings up…gives the photographer a sense of our complex motion.”


“We’ll include a bit of a solo dance with three of us creating a formation that helps the viewer focus on the single dancer.”


“Next, we join together, yet spread out across the field of view.”


“Now, wings down with the leaders and wings up with the last two, and get ready to bank left as we soar into the sky!”

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