Them’s fightin’ birds – swans vs. ducks in Amsterdam

There’s a gang war in Amsterdam’s Red Light District, and it’s for the birds. Seriously. The swans and ducks are out to get each other.

I first noticed the commotion because of the ducks. They were so loud, and unlike the placid ducks I know from my home lakes in Minneapolis, they were fluttering and flapping around like mad. I honestly wondered if some of the Red Light District’s more refined substances had accidentally gotten into the canal.


But still. Then, I saw the swans. The swans and ducks were have full-on standoffs. In particular, the swans were tensing themselves up (into a totally beautiful, but definitely aggressive, shape like the one shown) and swimming into duck territory to cause trouble. Or maybe the ducks started it. I don’t know. I’m no ornithologist.

I did, however take three videos of the insanity. I’ll skip the first one, before I walked north through duck territory and encountered the swans. Here’s #2:

Forgive the spinning; I was trying to figure out what in the devil was going on with all these freaking out birds.
Then, these two angry-looking swans charged into duck territory. I started to wonder if somewhere a swan was being held hostage. It’s like something out of a cartoon directed by Quentin Tarantino.

Reservoir Ducks, anyone? Did you see that duck just jump the leading swan in the lower right corner (0:07 seconds)?? From what I understand, these is the usual situation in the Red Light District’s canal. Them’s fightin’ birds.

Videos taken by Annie Scott on location in Amsterdam, Sunday, November 8, 2009.

This trip was paid for by the Netherlands Board of Tourism, but the ideas and opinions expressed in the article above are 100% my own.