Holly, Lucky, Trumpeters, and a Tug of War - UPDATE March 31, 2020

After being separated for months, Lucky and Holly buddied up the last couple days. Trumpeter SwansTrumpeter SwansOne picture here might even show tongue-licking. I was surprised they didn’t den together after their history of sharing dens where they even played together.

On Sunday, Donna and I took a drive to see Trumpeter Swans that have been arriving as stretches of rivers opened up. We saw about a dozen, some flying over with their six to eight foot wingspans (record 10 feet 2 inches for the largest male trumpeter ever reported). We took some pictures but nothing like the picture here that a friend showed us and let us use for this update of a pair taking off running toward her on the water.

6 O'clock and mate6 O'clock and mate Holly and LuckyHolly and Lucky Holly and LuckyHolly and Lucky

Yesterday, the herring gull named 6 O’clock and his mate had a determined tug of war over a dead woodland deer mouse. 6 O’clock spotted it and carried it up beside his mate to swallow it. However, he no more than landed when his mate took hold of the mouse’s head and wouldn’t let go. Both dug in their heels and leaned back pulling hard. They kept it up so long that I had time to grab a camera, aim, and click through the window. Then the mouse slipped out of 6 O’clock’s bill and his smaller mate swallowed it. 6 O’clock held no grudge. He stood close and calmly walked around her until they flew off together. I’d never seen a tug of war like that before.

Thank you for all you do.
Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center