Report Trumpeter Swan sightings this winter

Trumpeter Swans flying- Donna Dewhurst/USFWS (public domain)

You can join others in helping The Trumpeter Swan Society’s in their efforts to support the restoration of these beautiful native swans by providing information on sightings to their citizen science ‘Trumpeter Watch’ program. They focus on the following states: Ks, OK, NM, Eastern CO, MO, AR, So. IL, So. IN, KY, TN, TX, LA, MS, AL, VA, WV, NC, SC, MD, DE, DC. They need reports of Trumpeter Swans observed in those states and parts of states for the winter season that runs from November 1 to May 1. They are also interested in reports of sightings from OR, CA, NV, ID, WY, UT, AZ, and other parts of CO.

Trumpeter Swan Family- Ryan Hagerty/USFWS (public domain)

The Trumpeter Swan is the largest species of waterfowl in North America, weighing up to 30 lbs. and with a wingspan of 7-8 feet they are very impressive birds! They mate for life and live up to 30 years of age. Sadly Trumpeter Swans were almost extinct by the 1940′s but the efforts of Federal, state, other agencies and groups to restore these swans have been paying off as evidenced by increased numbers of birds.

“The species’ rapid decline over the past two and a half centuries was largely due to unchecked hunting for skins, feathers, and meat. Favored habitat was also lost as much of the birds’ range was converted to agricultural use. The species has been federally protected under the Migratory Bird Act since 1918, but has also benefited from the additional protections afforded it over more recent decades. Successful reintroduction programs have been undertaken in places such as Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ontario, Ohio and New York. Trumpeters are currently doing well in these areas.”   (From National Audubon Society website)

The Trumpeter Society says that your help is needed for so they can learn more about where these swans are wintering. “In recent decades wild nesting populations of Trumpeters have been successfully restored in several northerly states and Ontario. Most swans now winter near their northern breeding areas, but an unknown number are pioneering southward where they are beginning to establish use of more southerly wintering sites.”

Trumpeter Swan visiting Canon City,CO

Just go to the ‘Trumpeter Watch‘ web page
for easy instructions in the ‘How to Begin’ section. There is a whole section on ‘Trumpeter Identification’ with photos and lots of help on how to tell them apart from other swans and other similar species. You can read their ‘Preliminary Results for several states that shows locations where Trumpeter Swans have been reported–you may find a location near you where you might have the chance to see one of this beautiful white birds.

Wouldn’t it be fun to see a Trumpeter Swan this winter? I found and photographed the swan in the photo on the left in a gravel quarry pond in my town a few years ago.   Will you watch for Trumpeter Swans in your area this winter and report them to Trumpeter Watch?

  1. Gary says

    Recently one has been hanging in a retention lake in Mt. Prospect, Illinois. Creating quite a good fuss. Been living in that area since 1976 and never saw one on that lake. Is it going to be OK there all winter? Hangs with the ducks and geese.

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