I woke up with the dogs going positively berserk. Turns out there's a white swan pacing back and forth just outside the fence. By the time I got involved, it had decided to sit outside the fence. My wife decided to deal with it by walking halfway into the yard and telling it to "shoo - go home - there's a pond that way" The swan was not impressed. I go out there, walk right up to the fence, and am maybe five feet from the thing, which is just sitting there watching me. I throw some snow at it (the powdery kind, not hard ice). Nothing. I get a fallen tree branch from the yard and wave it while yelling. Nothing. I actually poke it with the tips of the branch (about 6-10 feet long) while yelling. It is unperturbed. I break off pieces and throw them at the bird, which nibbles at the pieces after they bounce off of it. Now it probably thinks I'm feeding it. I bring the dog (130-pound Newfoundland) with me. The dog, brave as a lion from the doorway, will only get closer when hiding behind me. Sigh. I get the dog with me at the fence, and the swan shakes its head and looks away. I turn and the dog gallops back inside where she can bark from the safety of the house. Such fortitude! Back inside, some googling leads to accounts of much fighting over Mute Swans. Apparently they've gone from "protected" status in many states to "invasive species" status, and many states have launched programs aiming at eliminating them them, much to the protest of organized Swan-lovers. I don't want to eliminate it; I just want my dogs to stop barking. As of right now the swan is back at the fence. Sitting. Mocking me. The dog is sitting on the deck. Watching. It's a NJ standoff.