Trumpeter Swan Cygnets On Elk Lake

A Trumpeter Swan cygnet munching on underwater vegetationA Trumpeter Swan cygnet munching on underwater vegetation – Nikon D810, f8, 1/2500, ISO 400, -1.0 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

The birds of the Centennial Valley are great and perhaps the most well known birds for this area are the graceful, Trumpeter Swans. This trip I have been fortunate to be able to photograph this family of swans almost every evening and am delighted that this pair has been able to raise five cygnets this far.

A Graceful Trumpeter Swan CygnetA Graceful Trumpeter Swan Cygnet – Nikon D810, f9, 1/1600, ISO 400, -1.0 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Some of the Trumpeter Swan cygnets are almost pure white but a few of the others are more gray and the colors of their bills vary as well. Each evening the cygnets have spent quite a bit of time preening but two evenings ago the cygnets finished preening and they all swam out onto the lake and started to forage. When I get home I will post more images of that behavior.

Trumpeter Swan Cygnet on Elk LakeTrumpeter Swan Cygnet on Elk Lake – Nikon D810, f10, 1/1000, ISO 400, -0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I am totally enamored by Trumpeter Swans, they are not only graceful and beautiful but the adults seem like such caring parents and keep an ever watchful eye on their young. To see them in the wild and have them accept our presence enough for the adults to close their eyes and rest is amazing and rewarding.

The water on Elk Lake is a gorgeous blue and provides not only a wonderful home for the swans but many other birds, animals and fish too, there are even Arctic Grayling in its cold depths.

Life is good. Even better since I haven’t had to struggle much this time to get this post scheduled.



  1. Charlotte (Prairie Birder) September 12, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    Stunning photos, Mia!

  2. Utahbooklover September 12, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    I agree with Patty and would add exceptional photographer, storyteller, and activists.

  3. Elephant's Child September 12, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    Serenely beautiful. And I loved the image of it ‘trumpeting’.

  4. Elizabeth Boehm September 12, 2015 at 10:30 am

    Mia, you made my day. I photographed this family of swans in early July on Elk Lake. I am happy to see all the cygnets are doing well. Nice photos!

  5. Humming Bird Lover September 12, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Hi! Beautiful photo’s of the Swans honey! I can’t be there, but surely enjoy your sharing with all of us! Have a great time! Love ya’s mom

    • Patty Chadwick September 12, 2015 at 9:49 am

      You have quite a daughter! She is one of my very real, very much admired, genuine heros!!!

  6. Patty Chadwick September 12, 2015 at 6:06 am

    You captured the graceful beauty of these magnificent birds….beautiful!!! Never saw an image of one with an open beak before…wish I could have heard what that bird was “saying”….

  7. Bob Mcpherson September 12, 2015 at 5:27 am

    Beautiful photos Mia. Please take a bow.

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