Trumpeter Swans are very devoted parents. They spend almost all of their time tending to their brood, finding good feeding spots and making sure that any potential predator keeps its distance. The local Uinta ground squirrels have learned that an attacking swan means business. They’re also very observant and keep track of their surroundings. One example is that our captive birds are very cautious with people they don’t know. This parent is suspicious of the person with camera, as I’m not someone who they’ve seen before. The cygnets are staying close to mom and don’t wander far.
One of the main benefits of raising our birds under semi-natural conditions is that they don’t become excessively habituated to humans and maintain a healthy skepticism about our motives. These traits will serve the young swans well when they’re released as young adults.