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Coot and Mallards feeding from SwanI like to check out the Swans on Flat Creek when I visit Jackson, Wyoming. It was a day that was too warm for December and the light was a bit contrasty. The creek was wide open with no ice and the swans were scattered with the exception of a group of three feeding close to the viewing platform on the northern edge of town. I sat and ate my lunch and watched the small group of swans feeding. I noticed the coots and mallards coming in really close to the up-ended birds.  I then realized they were scavenging odds and ends that the swans were stirring up from the bottom. Feeding on Flat CreekThe coots were in and out between the family of three swans with one swan giving it an annoyed bite as it approached too close. The mallards also occasionally went at the coots being protective of their feeding turf. The coots were diligent and every so often they found a morsel to feed on. Photographing this behavior was not easy as I had to be quick with the focusing and exposure compensation. The birds were constantly moving making sharpness and depth of field a non-stop problem. My slow photo day turned into a fun December afternoon watching the birds and practicing my camera skills.

American Coot and Trumpeter Swan feeding