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Pictures | Mon Jul 17, 2017 | 3:45pm EDT

Counting of the swans

Swans and cygnets are weighed, measured, inspected and recorded in the annual counting of The Queen's swans, known as 'Swan Upping', along the River Thames near Chertsey, Britain. Six teams embarked on the annual "upping" - a combined census and health visit for swans.

REUTERS/Toby Melville

Swans and cygnets are weighed, measured, inspected and recorded in the annual counting of The Queen's swans, known as 'Swan Upping', along the River Thames near Chertsey, Britain. Six teams embarked on the annual "upping" - a combined census and...more

Swans and cygnets are weighed, measured, inspected and recorded in the annual counting of The Queen's swans, known as 'Swan Upping', along the River Thames near Chertsey, Britain. Six teams embarked on the annual "upping" - a combined census and health visit for swans. REUTERS/Toby Melville
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1 / 17
An official returns a swan to the water along the River Thames near Chertsey. The upping sees three teams, one representing Queen Elizabeth and one each representing the old trade associations of the Vintners and Dyers livery companies, patrol the river for five days, and capture, tag and then release any families of swans with young.

REUTERS/Toby Melville

An official returns a swan to the water along the River Thames near Chertsey. The upping sees three teams, one representing Queen Elizabeth and one each representing the old trade associations of the Vintners and Dyers livery companies, patrol the...more

An official returns a swan to the water along the River Thames near Chertsey. The upping sees three teams, one representing Queen Elizabeth and one each representing the old trade associations of the Vintners and Dyers livery companies, patrol the river for five days, and capture, tag and then release any families of swans with young. REUTERS/Toby Melville
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2 / 17
A Barge Master displays metal rings being used to tag birds. "It's tradition - it's part of British history", David Barber, the swan marker on queen's crew told Reuters of the endeavour dating back to the 12th century, when swans were an important food source.

REUTERS/Toby Melville

A Barge Master displays metal rings being used to tag birds. "It's tradition - it's part of British history", David Barber, the swan marker on queen's crew told Reuters of the endeavour dating back to the 12th century, when swans were an important...more

A Barge Master displays metal rings being used to tag birds. "It's tradition - it's part of British history", David Barber, the swan marker on queen's crew told Reuters of the endeavour dating back to the 12th century, when swans were an important food source. REUTERS/Toby Melville
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3 / 17
A boat carrying David Barber, the Queen's Swan Marker, is rowed by the crew. The upping is in part about pomp and ceremony. Swan markers cruise down the river, ancient standards fluttering from the back of their vessels, in gold-trimmed blazers and naval-style peaked caps, topped off with a swan feather in the brim.

REUTERS/Toby Melville

A boat carrying David Barber, the Queen's Swan Marker, is rowed by the crew. The upping is in part about pomp and ceremony. Swan markers cruise down the river, ancient standards fluttering from the back of their vessels, in gold-trimmed blazers and...more

A boat carrying David Barber, the Queen's Swan Marker, is rowed by the crew. The upping is in part about pomp and ceremony. Swan markers cruise down the river, ancient standards fluttering from the back of their vessels, in gold-trimmed blazers and naval-style peaked caps, topped off with a swan feather in the brim. REUTERS/Toby Melville
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4 / 17
Swans and cygnets are weighed, measured, inspected and recorded. But the modern upping is also about conservation. The uppers assist injured young swans, most often by removing fishing lines that the birds have become tangled in.

REUTERS/Toby Melville

Swans and cygnets are weighed, measured, inspected and recorded. But the modern upping is also about conservation. The uppers assist injured young swans, most often by removing fishing lines that the birds have become tangled in. REUTERS/Toby...more

Swans and cygnets are weighed, measured, inspected and recorded. But the modern upping is also about conservation. The uppers assist injured young swans, most often by removing fishing lines that the birds have become tangled in. REUTERS/Toby Melville
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5 / 17
A toy swan is seen in the porthole of a boat. The teams also monitor the population of young birds, which has declined sharply in recent years. Last year, the uppers tagged 72 cygnets on the stretch of the river between Sunbury and Abingdon. The year before they found 83, and 120 the year before that. Natural predators, dog attacks, egg theft and nest vandalism are among factors responsible for the decline.

REUTERS/Toby Melville

A toy swan is seen in the porthole of a boat. The teams also monitor the population of young birds, which has declined sharply in recent years. Last year, the uppers tagged 72 cygnets on the stretch of the river between Sunbury and Abingdon. The year...more

A toy swan is seen in the porthole of a boat. The teams also monitor the population of young birds, which has declined sharply in recent years. Last year, the uppers tagged 72 cygnets on the stretch of the river between Sunbury and Abingdon. The year before they found 83, and 120 the year before that. Natural predators, dog attacks, egg theft and nest vandalism are among factors responsible for the decline. REUTERS/Toby Melville
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6 / 17
David Barber the Queen's Swan Marker works with team members as swans and cygnets are weighed, measured, inspected and recorded. To catch the birds, the crews encircle a family against the river bank, moving closer until the swans can be plucked out of the water by hand.

REUTERS/Toby Melville

David Barber the Queen's Swan Marker works with team members as swans and cygnets are weighed, measured, inspected and recorded. To catch the birds, the crews encircle a family against the river bank, moving closer until the swans can be plucked out...more

David Barber the Queen's Swan Marker works with team members as swans and cygnets are weighed, measured, inspected and recorded. To catch the birds, the crews encircle a family against the river bank, moving closer until the swans can be plucked out of the water by hand. REUTERS/Toby Melville
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7 / 17
Swans and cygnets are weighed, measured, inspected and recorded. "You hold its neck, put an arm around its wings and body and lift it out of the water. Then they are tied with some very soft ties, around the wings and around the legs," Barber said. They are then weighed, measured and checked for injuries.

REUTERS/Toby Melville

Swans and cygnets are weighed, measured, inspected and recorded. "You hold its neck, put an arm around its wings and body and lift it out of the water. Then they are tied with some very soft ties, around the wings and around the legs," Barber said....more

Swans and cygnets are weighed, measured, inspected and recorded. "You hold its neck, put an arm around its wings and body and lift it out of the water. Then they are tied with some very soft ties, around the wings and around the legs," Barber said. They are then weighed, measured and checked for injuries. REUTERS/Toby Melville
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8 / 17
Birds are returned to the water following an examination. Aside from some irritated grunting, the 10 or so birds being caught and inspected on Monday showed little sign of distress.

REUTERS/Toby Melville

Birds are returned to the water following an examination. Aside from some irritated grunting, the 10 or so birds being caught and inspected on Monday showed little sign of distress. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Birds are returned to the water following an examination. Aside from some irritated grunting, the 10 or so birds being caught and inspected on Monday showed little sign of distress. REUTERS/Toby Melville
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9 / 17
David Barber the Queen's Swan Marker reacts during the annual counting of the Queen's swans. The uppers themselves are something of a celebrity presence on the river, with crowds of mostly elderly spectators flocking to see them pass by.

REUTERS/Toby Melville

David Barber the Queen's Swan Marker reacts during the annual counting of the Queen's swans. The uppers themselves are something of a celebrity presence on the river, with crowds of mostly elderly spectators flocking to see them pass...more

David Barber the Queen's Swan Marker reacts during the annual counting of the Queen's swans. The uppers themselves are something of a celebrity presence on the river, with crowds of mostly elderly spectators flocking to see them pass by. REUTERS/Toby Melville
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10 / 17
A detail is seen on the uniform of a Barge Master. REUTERS/Toby Melville

A detail is seen on the uniform of a Barge Master. REUTERS/Toby Melville

A detail is seen on the uniform of a Barge Master. REUTERS/Toby Melville
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11 / 17
A crew member rows. REUTERS/Toby Melville

A crew member rows. REUTERS/Toby Melville

A crew member rows. REUTERS/Toby Melville
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12 / 17
David Barber the Queen's Swan Marker works. REUTERS/Toby Melville

David Barber the Queen's Swan Marker works. REUTERS/Toby Melville

David Barber the Queen's Swan Marker works. REUTERS/Toby Melville
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13 / 17
Swans and cygnets are weighed, measured, inspected and recorded. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Swans and cygnets are weighed, measured, inspected and recorded. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Swans and cygnets are weighed, measured, inspected and recorded. REUTERS/Toby Melville
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14 / 17
Swans and cygnets are weighed, measured, inspected and recorded. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Swans and cygnets are weighed, measured, inspected and recorded. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Swans and cygnets are weighed, measured, inspected and recorded. REUTERS/Toby Melville
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15 / 17
A detail is seen on an oar. REUTERS/Toby Melville

A detail is seen on an oar. REUTERS/Toby Melville

A detail is seen on an oar. REUTERS/Toby Melville
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16 / 17
A boat carrying David Barber, the Queen's Swan Marker, is rowed by the crew during the annual counting of the Queen's swans, known as 'Swan Upping', along the River Thames near Chertsey, Britain July 17, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville

A boat carrying David Barber, the Queen's Swan Marker, is rowed by the crew during the annual counting of the Queen's swans, known as 'Swan Upping', along the River Thames near Chertsey, Britain July 17, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville

A boat carrying David Barber, the Queen's Swan Marker, is rowed by the crew during the annual counting of the Queen's swans, known as 'Swan Upping', along the River Thames near Chertsey, Britain July 17, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville
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