Did you ever wonder where all the swans go in the winter when all the ponds ice over?They find open water on our rivers that remain open because there is so much salt water at the beginning of the estuary. As you know, salt water can freeze but it takes much longer. This picture, taken by and sent in to me by Linda Robbins of Falmouth, was taken at the Moonakis River in Falmouth this weekend. (Thanks, Linda!)
Swans eat vegetable matter, not fish, by the way, which is why they are often bottoms up, feeding on water plants on the bottom of shallow lakes and ponds. Usually swans are not overly friendly to other birds, including other swans in their territories but at this time of year survival seems to win out over territorial rights. You will even find mallards and Canada geese among them, something you will never see in the spring or summer.
There are several other areas on the Cape where you can find hundreds of swans in winter, most notably Swan River in South Yarmouth. Bet you can guess how it got that name….