According to the Comox Valley Naturalist Checklist Trumpeter Swans are uncommon in this area by now, having left for Northern breeding grounds. This group are still here today in Railway Grade Marsh.
My question is whether the juvenile (with wings spread) could be moulting? Its feathers look most disorganized in this picture.
Dennis Forsyth writes: It should be in the late stages of its moult at this time of year. The juveniles stay with the parents for their first year and typically complete the migration north with them at one year of age. Usually they still show considerable grey but are becoming more and more white by the month. They will be driven away by the parents on the breeding grounds and will hang out with other juveniles, or, more properly, sub-adults for another year before attaining full adulthood and mating themselves. This one is really only grey in comparison to the adults in the group. I think the full moult is quite gradual. When they first arrive in the fall they are much darker.
By the way, the white sub-adults are identifiable as two or three year olds if you can see their legs. They will be a mottled black as opposed to solid black in full adults. Nice shot of this one. They were all having their morning bathe when I was there. Dennis