Hamburg’s “Alster swans,” named after the city’s most famous lake, where they live, are known across the country. Each year, they are removed from the lake before the winter cold arrives and taken to another, warmer body of water where they reside as the Alster freezes over. On Monday, “Swan father” Olaf Niess and his colleagues collected the birds and took them to their winter quarters in boats that have been lined with straw for the trip. The swans have been present at the lake since the 11th century; and the job of “Swan father,” which dates back to 1674, is the city’s oldest known job. The swans are considered to be a Hamburg emblem.
Full article and photo: http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,728912,00.html