I was kayaking downstream on the Charles one Saturday evening this past July when I came upon a family of swans.
Papa Swan was not at all happy to see me; whenever I started to get close, he’d paddle rapidly toward me, and start hissing, while the mother stayed close to the younger ones.
I’d back off, and once I was out of the defense perimeter, he’d stop and go back to watching me, until I got too close again.
That area was a veritable nursery that night, because I also saw a mother duck with a whole herd of ducklings at the edge of the water:
This past Saturday, I was back on the Charles in the same area, and saw the swan family swimming ahead of me, all in a row. The cute little swanlings are now in the equivalent of the awkward teenager stage:
They’re now almost as big as their parents, and starting to lose their gray plumage in favor of white.