Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Injured cygnet still kicking

Actually he's looking a little better. With the rest of his family, they were all foraging close to the shore halfway down the Franklin riverfront this evening. He did get harassed by one of the others briefly, but basically the family seem happier for him to hang out with them. He doesn't seem able to do the deeper duck-dive with his bum in the air like the others do to forage the bottom in deeper water, and I wonder if this manoeuvre requires the feet to be working well. I suspect, thinking of the mechanics, that he would need to pull both feet hard up towards his chest in order to swing his body vertically downwards. Being unable to do this will impede his feeding. He manages to stand on one leg, but I haven't seen him properly out of the water. He is developing darker plumage. Time will tell, and I remain intrigued.

His siblings are developing their wings more rapidly. Interestingly, it does appear that three of the cygnets are slightly more developed than the other three - based on my assessment of their "fluffiness". This one is amusing - developing flight feathers, but with fluffy down on top of the wing - and here he is emulating his parents display. I'm not entirely sure what it's about, but the adults have certainly done it to me when they seemed to want to tell me to go away. Might just be posing!

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