This article features a selection of photographs illustrating examples of swan aggression. Images were sourced from my archives. These photographs were all captured during the same visit to LaSalle Park in Burlington Ontario. All of the images were captured handheld using an OM-D E-M1X fitted with an M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 zoom and an M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
Often when we observe swans we are lulled into thinking that these large birds are always calm and majestic.
They can be quite territorial especially during mating season. Swan aggression is usually limited to some brief pursuits across the surface of the water.
On occasion these pursuits can cover a fair distance as we can see with the following 11 consecutive photographs. Swan aggression is a noisy affair with wings and feet smacking on the water and a lot of water sprayed into the air.
In the ensuing mayhem birds can inadvertently intrude into the space of other swans not involved in the conflict. This can cause the other birds to flee, or sometimes join in the attack.
When fights break out they can be vicious causing injuries or even death as swan aggression often involves one bird seizing another by its neck.
Swan aggression is often signalled by a bird curling its wings upward as it is swimming towards another bird. If the other swan that it is approaching does not swim away, an attack display and corresponding pursuit can erupt.
Photographs were captured hand-held using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process. Crops are noted where appropriate.
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