Mute Swan, Dublin

After our trans-Atlantic flight, we overnighted in Dublin before joining our tour of Ireland. Our hotel was across the street from a large-ish city park with a small-ish pond at one end. A grey heron stayed well out of the range of my camera lens, but the mute swans let me get reasonably close.

In theory, I’m against wild birds (or any wild animal) getting habituated to the human presence. In practice, I find that it makes photography a lot easier.

What this guy (?) was doing with a feather stuck in its nostril, I don’t know, but I sympathy-sneezed for 10 minutes.

4-photo collage of mute swans in Dublin

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6 Responses to Mute Swan, Dublin

  1. John Whitman says:

    Isabel: Re: habituated wildlife. Every time I see a family feeding the ducks and geese here in Ottawa during the summer, I think of how happy the American waterfowl hunters must be each fall having such well-habituated targets to aim at.

  2. Jim Taylor says:

    Habituation is not the same as dependence. The deer who come through our yard are fairly well habituated to humans. That is, they don’t panic if we step outside. But they are not in any way dependent on us for food, shelter, or cuddling. They’re wild animals who don’t have to be afraid of us. On the whole, I like that kind of situation better than making all wild creatures fear us. I would like to co-exist with bears and whales and eagles.
    Jim T

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Jim – That’s fair. I know bird experts who don’t like feeders because they change the birds’ feeding patterns – introducing dependence.

  3. Jim Robertson says:

    great pics Isabel

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