SWAN SERENADE
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World Press Photo Contest 2011, Nature, 2nd prize stories, Stefano Unterthiner, Italy Whooper swans are a northern hemisphere swan, with a range from Iceland to beyond Japan. They breed on islands and beside lakes and slow-flowing rivers from mid-May, and also frequently inhabit estuaries, marshes and floodplains. Their diet consists predominantly of leaves, stems and roots of aquatic plants.
09 February 2010 Hokkaido, Japan Whooper swans use their massive wings to achieve lift-off after a short run, and can also take off from water. Whooper swans are a northern hemisphere swan, with a range from Iceland to beyond Japan. They breed on islands and beside lakes and slow-flowing rivers from mid-May, and also frequently inhabit estuaries, marshes and floodplains.

National Geographic Photography Whooper Swans, Japan Photograph by Stefano Unterthiner, National Geographic

23 February 2010 Hokkaido, Japan In the early morning, two swans move from their nesting area to feeding grounds.

from Swan Serenade by Stefano Unterthiner; such a serene scene

26 January 2010 Hokkaido, Japan Whooper swans on Lake Kussharo at dawn. The warm waters of the volcanic lake are usually slow to ice over, making it a good wintering habitat. Their diet consists predominantly of leaves, stems and roots of aquatic plants. Around October, the swans fly to more temperate areas for winter. One 1,280-kilometer-long migration route, from Iceland to Ireland, is possibly the longest sea crossing by any swan species.

Whooper swans are a northern hemisphere swan, with a range from Iceland to beyond Japan. Hokkaido, Japan Whooper swans on Lake Kusshar.

06 February 2010 Hokkaido, Japan Swans are grounded by a blizzard that freezes the lake.

06 February 2010 Hokkaido, Japan Swans are grounded by a blizzard that freezes the lake.

14 February 2010 Hokkaido, Japan Swans walk on a frozen Lake Kussharo. The warm waters of the volcanic lake are usually slow to ice over, making it a good wintering habitat.

14 February 2010 Hokkaido, Japan Swans walk on a frozen Lake Kussharo. The warm waters of the volcanic lake are usually slow to ice over, making it a good wintering habitat.

07 June 2010 Kuumo, Finland A pair of whooper swans warn off another, which has entered their territory.

07 June 2010 Kuumo, Finland A pair of whooper swans warn off another, which has entered their territory.

06 February 2010 Hokkaido, Japan Swans shelter from the weather in strong wind, spending all day on the ice. Attempting to take off might have risked wing damage.

Photo by stefanounterthiner, Whooper swans resting on ice. One of the selected shots - but not published - for my story (December on whooper swan for natgeo.

09 June 2010 Kuumo, Finland A whooper swam is vigilant over a newly hatched cygnet.

World Press Photo 2011 prize winner Nature Stories - Swan Serenade

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