I ran into cuteness overload at Lake Morton in mid-May with two baby swans.They were staying close to the parents. They grow up in a big fenced-in pen right on the lake so the babies have a better chance of surviving at the lake and then are let out once they are big enough to take care of themselves. Ducks, other swans, hawks, eagles, alligators and snakes are just a few of the dangers there.
Two juveniles black swans were about to be released.
Older baby wood ducks were taking a nap.
Safety in numbers. These muscovy babies were all huddled together.
Sometimes things just work out. I was heading home after a long walk at Circle B Bar Reserve and decided to stop by Lake Morton near downtown Lakeland for a quick walk around the small lake. I was hoping to find some baby wood duck families since there have been a lot of wood duck couples hanging around the lake. I got even luckier. This was the first time I’ve seen baby swans that young swimming with the parents. The little twins were very curious pecking at everything but they stayed close to the parents. I sat down on the grass and took a ton of pictures. All of these were taken in late April with my 300mm lens and were extremely cropped.
They grow up so fast. Baby black swans that are teenagers at this point.
It’s nice to see more black swans around the lake.
Looks like this swan was getting restless,watching for her babies to hatch.
I took so many pictures of these little guys. They were very curious.
Most of the swans were nesting when I walked around Lake Morton in late April. Only a few babies had been born and they were already all grown up. The city has each nest roped off so people don’t get too close. The swans can be very aggressive if you come near the roped off area.
It’s that time of the year. The moorhen babies with the big feet show up everywhere. This family with two babies that were growing up fast where hanging around the edge of the lake with white ibis, ducks and swans.
Two baby ducks that were orphans were close by. They seemed to be doing okay without any parents.
Baby mallard ducks were trying to nap under the bush.
One swan Mom was raising her babies in one of the fenced off areas. That way they are protected from predators including hawks and other mean swans.
Little critters flying around the lake.
I stopped by Lake Morton in Lakeland on my way home from another park to see if there were any baby ducks or swans. A few of both were found. Not a big baby boom going on in early May but enough to keep the cuteness going.
I thought all of the winter ducks had gone north by now but this ring necked duck was still hanging around.
Black swan preening.
At first glance I didn’t think there were any baby swans yet. All of the moms were sitting down on the nest. Then a swan got up to move around and I could just barely make out the little fuzzballs under her. They still looked wet so they must have been born that morning. It was around lunchtime when I stopped by the lake. She still had two more to hatch.
One of the little babies was pretty wet and fumbling around.
Mom was right there watching them. Dad was close by right next to the nest. I took these through the reeds so they are a little fuzzy.
How cute is that face???
Across the lake was another new mom. This nest had 3 eggs and only one has hatched so far.
I was sitting on the grass and zoomed in on mom’s beak. Yuck. It almost looks like she has tiny teeth.
It feels like spring when the baby animals start popping up everywhere.
The gray one on the left was born only 18 hours earlier. The beige ones were born the day before.
“You guys make good pillows.”
The youngest one is ready for a nap.
“What am I suppose to do with these big feet?”
“Is there a bug on my neck?”
Parting butt shot.
A shot of the nest with my phone.
I hadn’t planned on stopping by Lake Morton. I was on my way to Circle B Bar Reserve which is only 10 minutes away. It was drizzling on the way to Lakeland and I was thinking I didn’t want to get out on the trails and it start to rain. As I got closer to Lakeland I decided to stop by Lake Morton first and then see how the weather holds up an hour later. I got to the little lake around 8am. I was driving around looking for a good spot to park when I saw a group of people hanging around a swan nest. I thought “There must be babies there.” I parked and walked over and there they were. Three of the cutest fuzz balls ever. Not even 2 days old. The park was taking the babies and raising them offsite due to the thefts of eggs and babies last year so these little ones were probably going to be gone by that afternoon. I was lucky to spend an hour watching them move around. They did not leave the nest while I was there. Both parents were close by. There is also a camera high up in a tree keeping an eye on the nest as well so everyone was on their best behavior. Many people stopped by for a few minutes to get a look at them. How could they not melt your heart?
The sun started to peak out after an hour so I left and headed to the reserve.
Too see more amazing swan family pictures, check out Kim’s blog. She lives near the lake and has caught many wonderful moments of the babies with their parents.