The Mute Swan
Close to where we live is a wetlands sanctuary for fish and migratory fowl. One of the benefits is that some of the inhabitants spill over into other areas, specifically a nature walk near our downtown.
For some years, we've had a pair of nesting swans that don't seem to mind attention and that have built their nest quite close to the walkway. What a treat! We're able to get a pretty close look at their nest and the eggs the female lays in the spring. At the time of this photo, the clutch eventually had 9 eggs!
Sadly, the park management only allowed one to hatch. The problem is that the mute swan is very aggressive in using food resources and space, so is a lot of competition for other wetland fowl in the area.
I've also read elsewhere that swans can be very aggressive to humans and attack them! So be careful when approaching these beautiful birds. They are called mute because they don't make honking noises while they're flying, but on land they hiss and chortle a bit.
Image Credit » My own photo