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Photograph by Margaret Smith

2020 TTSS News Archive

News Highlights from 2020

IOWA:This is an excellent article about the restoration of trumpeter swans to Iowa and the importance of health wetlands to swan habitat and the habitat of more than 400 species.

MINNESOTA: You may have noticed trumpeter swans on Pleasant Lake or Teal Pond—their distinctive black bill against all-white plumage is a handsome and unique feature among their swan brethren. But did you know that these North Oaks residents are descended from Alaska?" Read more...

MONTANA: "BOZEMAN — Game wardens with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks are seeking information on several trumpeter swans that were shot east of Manhattan.

"The swans were discovered on Central Park Pond on Heeb Road. Initial analysis of the collected birds showed evidence that several of them had been shot illegally. The investigation is ongoing, and further testing on the dead birds is still pending.

"Investigators believe the birds were likely shot sometime around Feb. 19...Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call Montana’s poaching hotline, 1-800-TIP-MONT (847-6668). Informants can remain anonymous, and persons who provide information that leads to a successful prosecution in this case may be eligible for a monetary reward." Read more...

MONTANA: "Fans of the Bitterroot’s Valley first cygnets hatched in the wild in recent memory will be happy to learn they weren’t among the seven swans recently found dead near a pond in Bozeman." Read more...

WISCONSIN: (includes video). MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- The Madison Fire Department is asking anglers to stop using lead-based fishing tackles after a tundra swan was poisoned but survived and another swan died after swallowing such tackles on Lake Mendota.The Dane County Humane Society's Wildlife Center has never rescued a swan that was without lead poisoning. Experts have also seen lead poisoning in geese, ducks, turtles, opossums and eagles.

"The best thing we could do to stop finding these swans and geese and other animals with lead poisoning, is to stop using lead as much as we possibly can," Collins explains.

The burden now falls on hunters and fishers to find alternatives to lead shots or lead sinkers. Such a change could protect more than area wildlife.

"If lead is accumulating in the environment in small amounts, in fish and water fowl and other animals that pick it up from the environment, that lead could be transferred to people who consume those animals," Collins tells NBC15 News... Read more

IDAHO: Trumpeter Swans can be seen year round at Harriman State Park. "While snowshoeing down the groomed trail at Harriman State Park on a February day, you immediately notice the whispering notes from wind rustling through lodgepole pines combined with the silky sounds of the rippling waters of the Henrys Fork of the Snake River.

But Nature’s symphony really doesn’t build to a crescendo until you take in the deep trumpeting of the park’s renown trumpeter swans." Read more...

WASHINGTON: September rains and mud-soaked fields left many NW WA potato farmers with unharvested potato fields. "The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife estimates 20,000 trumpeter swans, with a few tundra swans mixed in, are wintering in the Skagit River delta region. Local birders who monitor the area estimate that upwards of 90% of the swans this year are feeding exclusively in the potato fields. " Read more...

IOWA: Over 400 people attended the West Des Moines Iowa Swan Soiree on February 15. They learned about the return of trumpeter swans to Iowa, a fascinating story... Read more...

MINNESOTA: TV station KARE 11 brought attention to the swan deaths at a local Twin Cities lake, where at least a dozen swans have died over the past year from suspected lead poisoning. The lake is heavily fished and lead fishing tackle is the suspected cause for the poisoning. Watch the video...

MINNESOTA: "Trumpeter swans continue to die of suspected lead poisoning at a lake in the Twin Cities metro area.

Last year, 11 of the majestic swans were found dead at Vadnais Lake in Vadnais Heights. This winter, two additional trumpeter swans have been located deceased at the lake, including one on the lake's north end/east side, and another at Sucker Channel. " Read more...

INDIANA: "While photographing the trumpeters at some distance this past August, I noticed the yellow colored legs on one of the birds and assumed it was a juvenile. I was told at the headquarters at Willow Slough this past week that the swan with yellow legs was believed to be leucistic." Read more...

CANADA: The 1955 article from the Canadian History archives shares the story of the trumpeter swan and early efforts to protect it and restore it in western Canada near Grande Prairie. Read more...

CANADA: "In the Winter 1955 edition of The Beaver, a feature article created by husband-and-wife team Richard and Lyn Harrington gave a first-hand look at the lengths to which some people in Canada and the United States were going to keep the trumpeter swan alive." Read more...

WISCONSIN: "Three of our iconic Northwoods bird species are being killed by lead picked up during feeding activities. They are the American bald eagle, the common loon, and the trumpeter swan. Lead also takes a toll on at least 12 other Wisconsin bird species." Read more...

ONTARIO: " Mandatory ice water training on Thursday for an Orillia Fire Department platoon quickly turned into an actual ice-rescue of a Trumpeter Swan.

When the swan was found frozen in the icy grip of the Trent Severn Waterway 40 feet from shore, the crew jumped in to help." Read more...

OREGON: Update from our Oregon Restoration Program (from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Facebook page)
Can you believe this trumpeter swan stayed airborne for 12 hours while flying from southern Alberta to a small reservoir near Unity, Oregon? With a six-and-a-half foot wingspan, trumpeter swans travel great distances to breed.

We captured and GPS-collared the male swan at Summer Lake Wildlife Area nearly a year ago. On March 11, he left for summer breeding grounds, spending over five months near a pond in the Peace River Region of British Columbia. This area is one of the core breeding areas for the Rocky Mountain population of trumpeter swans. On September 21, he moved east to the vicinity of Grande Prairie, Alberta, staging for a month before migrating back to the wildlife area.

Based on its daily movements during the summer, biologists believe the swan and his mate nested hatched a brood. Unfortunately, if that was the case, the cygnets didn’t survive as we have only spotted the male and his mate at the wildlife area. Low survival of cygnets – young swans – is typical of this bird, an Oregon Conservation Strategy Species.

We continue to monitor this swan’s movements and will conduct our winter trumpeter swan survey soon. We also hope to capture and GPS collar four more trumpeter swans this winter at the wildlife area. ODFW works with The Trumpeter Swan Society and others to restore trumpeter swans to their native range in Oregon.

IOWA: "Wintering populations of Trumpeter Swans are increasing annually all across Iowa thanks to restoration efforts of the species by wildlife management personnel across the continent."

"Throughout this fall and up until recently as many as 20 Trumpeter Swans have been residing at Sand Lake. While they spend much of the day at the lake, the birds will fly to picked corn fields to feed during the mornings and evenings. Although very cold weather tolerant, this latest bout of cold and snowy weather will determine if they migrate to points further south." Read more...

WASHINGTON: "Enjoy the 'white wings of winter' in the North Olympic Peninsula, and rejoice at the successful recovery of the North American trumpeter swan populations. Read more...

VIDEO: Trumpeter Swans are largely vegetarians, feeding on aquatic plants, roots and tubers, and some small invertebrates as well. But do they eat fish? Not very easily and not very often. Learn more...

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