RONGCHENG, HOME TO SWANS Ju Chuanjiang
fishing village also a tourism village and the brisk tourism has changed the fishermen’s way of life. More than 50 families in the village provide accommodation services for the visitors.
Photographers from home and abroad flock here every year. In addition to appreciating the swans, tourists can taste local food, such as crab, fried shrimp, fish and Jiaodong bobo, a kind of steamed bun.
Yandunjiao village attracts 100,000 visitors every year, who generate revenue of nearly 10 million yuan. Every day, hundreds of professional photographers from homeand abroad arrive to take photos of the swans. To catch these beautiful moments, some stay for a week or more.
The guest rooms, living rooms and dining rooms of the family hotels in Yandunjiao village are decorated with photos of the birds. Many of them, and pictures of the seaweed homes, have won international awards.
Wang Xinyu, a young man, has come here for four years in a row to take photos of the swans.
“Swans are birds that attract good luck. I like listening to their sounds and seeing them dance,” Wang said.
The swan lake has become a research base for wild swans. Universities including Shandong University, Yantai University, China Academy of Sciences and Shandong NormalUniversity, have set up facilities here.
The local swan protection office and the Chinese Academy of Sciences installed satellite positioning equipment on more than 20 swans last March and in January this year to track their migration patterns and habits. Teachers and students from ShandongUniversity stay here for years to observe their numbers, conditions, as well as the tourists’ influence on the living habits of the birds.
“Swans and human beings are living closer and closer, indicating that wild swans can live in harmony with man, but overfeeding will weaken their ability to survive in the wild,” said Liu Jian, a teacher from Shandong University.
Swans like living in groups. They fly to the sea to look for food and then fly to rivers to drink fresh water.
If swans want to be airborne, they nod or toss their heads to decide whether to take off. Little swans that are not willing to fly will be pecked by the larger birds.
In the morning, swans repeatedly clean and comb their feathers in the shallow water area. When families of swams fight for food, those involvedwave their wings andmake loud sounds, chasing and biting each other.
Swans are graceful and perch in beaches, lakes, reservoirs and wetlands. Adult swans can weigh over 7 kilograms. When they open their wings, the length can measure more than 1.5 meters and they can fly as high as 8000 meters.
Qu Rongheng, 62, of Yandunjiao village, said swans started coming here 40 years ago, but it was not until the year 2000 that a largenumber of swans gathered there.
“The swans have made our village more and more of a bustling place to be,” he said.
Staff of the local swan protection office in Rongcheng feed the swans with prepared food.