Every year I see photos of courting swans with their long necks in heart-like poses. When I go in search of swooning swans, they don’t give me their great poses. So you can imagine my delight when I come across this pair of swans at the edge of Lake Morton in mid-April. Most of the swans there have been on eggs for a while, but apparently love is still in the air…
The swans are very close to the shore of the lake. I see them bathing together, bathing their faces and long necks in a synchronized dance.
It’s starting to get warm, even in the early morning. They are clearly enjoying their bath in the cool water.
Their long necks are graceful as they intertwine and dabble their faces in the water. They work in unison as I click my shutter in amazement.
As much as I’ve been around birds in the springtime, the next step shouldn’t have surprised me. Their heads form beautiful curves as the male climbs on the back of the female…
…and the female shoves her head in the water. Why do water birds like to try to drown the female during this particular ritual?
Since this is a family-friendly blog, we’ll just say that the piggy-back ride is quick. The male seems to bite the neck of the female, who finally gets to breathe as her face emerges dripping from the lake.
As they separate, the birds touch beaks in a gentle hug as they continue their synchronized dance. They turn around, moving their necks up and down in perfect unity.
Finally they swim off, and I am left wondering – which nest is theirs, and when will I get to meet their family? :)
Want to learn more about nature photography at Lake Morton?
Check out my Lake Morton page with more information about the location, map, website, photography tips, etc. It is archived by date so you can see my images from previous visits. Maybe you'll be inspired for your own trip!
Planning a trip to Florida? Don't miss my Central Florida Bird Photography Locations reference guide!