Monday, May 20, 2013

Of Swans and Springtime, of Love and Migration

Lara is gone again.
But wait, you need to hear the story from the very beginning! 
We have a swan.  

Or the swan has us, it's hard to say how these things go.  At any rate, his name is Boris, and he lives on the pond down on our wetland - he came with the property when we moved here 13 years ago (it was a condition of the sale that we take care of him - he's not a native, and so his wings are clipped and he is confined to our property - and we have to supplement his diet since he is unable to leave to look for food elsewhere).

And he is in love with a Canada Goose.
I figured this out some years ago when I saw them gently twining necks out on the pond!
Since he is Boris, we call her Lara.

He shares his food with her and he protects her while she eats (that puffed neck and head down posture is warning me to keep my distance or else!), 

he swims with her, 

he walks in the orchard with her (he also has a pair of Mallard minions that follow him), 

and he takes romantic baths with her (sorry about the loud wind sounds) . . .

There's only one problem - (cue up Lara's theme from Doctor Zhivago)
She migrates.
Every Spring and Fall, she stops by for a few weeks, but the urge to travel on must be strong and she always leaves.
Every Spring and Fall, when the skeins of geese fly by, he cocks his head and watches, looking for her, waiting for her.  

In the spring he builds huge nests to tempt her to stay.
He even sits on the nests to prove his willingness to co-parent with her!

but she always leaves, eventually.

People on the island have commented to me about seeing one large white goose in a flock of Canada Geese (swans and geese can produce offspring, but their offspring is infertile) and yes, we are just a little way south (80 miles or so) of a major snow goose and native swan winter habitat, so it could be a stray, but still, 
it makes us wonder.


  1. I never tire of hearing the story about these two feathery lovemates. ❤

    1. Every year I worry that she won't return, but then here she comes again!

  2. Ahhhh. This really did wet my eyes. I have a super soft for all birds, including my parrots. Bless his heart, always waiting for his true love. It a beautiful story about a beautiful bird.