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Mute Swan

Mute Swan (Image ID 42044)
Photographed byJim Schultz on Sun 23rd Aug, 2020 and uploaded on Mon 24th Aug, 2020 .
Resolution1800x1400
Viewed68
ID42044
CommentI had been aware of the white Mute Swans on the Avon River at Northam, Western Australia, ever since I first saw them there, when my kids were little, probably around 1999. But being very familiar with these birds from my native Denmark, I crudely dismissed them as merely ‘ornamental birds’. In year 2015 I was reminded of their presence, when a single male Mute Swan turned up at the Perth Foreshore and caused quite a furore. I then did some research on the Northam birds, found that they had been introduced as early as 1896, and in August 2020, in my retirement, I finally saw time to revisit these locally famous white swans. Being told by a local resident that only 8 birds still survive, it became obvious to me that a photograph was now urgent and mandatory, lest the bird be completely lost to Australian nature after so many years. Some disfiguration is present in the remaining Northam flock, possibly due to undesirable feeding by visitors, and/or inbreeding, and apparently only a couple of the surviving birds are males. In 2015 a young, captive bred female was brought from Melbourne Zoo in order to hopefully introduce fresh blood. In the wild Mute Swans can live to 20 years of age, so just one set of new genes can have a huge impact. I wanted to show a Mute Swan on the Avon River against a backdrop of Australian riparian flora, and the male bird depicted here ‘in full sail’ clearly shows that his wings are clipped, thus preventing emigration by wing.
EquipmentNikon D850 Nikkor AF-S 500mm f4G ED VR + TC-14E MkIII Teleconverter Technigue: Camera rig support: Gitzo GT3543XLS Tripod, Dietmar Nill gimbal tripod head Exposure Mode: MANUAL 1/640 sec at f6.3. ISO-140. Metering Mode: Center-Weighted; Focus Mode: AF-C & AF Area Mode: Single. VR: Off Nikon ViewNX-i for viewing and selecting files; Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw/CC 2020 for cropping to 146%, minimal selective sharpening, burning & dodging and general post-processing; Topaz Pro plug-in Sharpen AI2‘focus’ for mild blanket sharpening and moderate noise control. ‘Australian Bird Guide 2019’ for colour checks
LocationAvon River, Northam, Western Australia
Keywordsmale, adult, behaviour/display
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