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Photograph by Margaret Smith

2022 TTSS News Archive

News Highlights from 2022

NewYorker.com: "Swamps can protect against climate change if we only let them. Wetlands absorb carbon dioxide and buffer the excesses of drought and flood, yet we've drained much of this land. Can we learn to love our swamps?...It is in and around wetlands that the greatest blossoming of biodiversity has occurred—it is not too much to say that we owe our existence to this planet’s wetlands, including fens, bogs, and swamps. Our wholesale destruction of wetlands for the sake of a few decades of growing wheat, rice, soy, and palm oil has been breathtakingly short-sighted. Once again, we are shocked into recognition that most of us live only for the moment."

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK: "Birds that nest near the water, such as trumpeter swans and loons, may also face challenges as the water encroaches on their newly laid eggs, Doug Smith said. “It could be complete reproductive failure,” he said, meaning that their eggs may not hatch. As soon as next week, wildlife officials will fly a plane over the park to check the status of the nests, he said."

MONTANA: "For the second year in a row, a pair of trumpeter swans has produced a brood of six cygnets at the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge.

This is the fourth year in a row the trumpeter swan pair has hatched cygnets on the same remote pond at the refuge.

Before they arrived at the refuge north of Stevensville, there hadn’t been any documented wild trumpeter swan cygnets in the Bitterroot Valley since restoration efforts began decades ago to bring the huge birds back from the brink of extinction in the lower 48 states." Read more...

WASHINGTON: “When you see those swans come back every year like clockwork and they bring their families and they grow and they're growing in numbers and there's more of them, it's validation that they like it,” Gordon said. “How many people get to have that in society today? Almost none, certainly. You go, ‘Hey, I’m doing a good job being a steward.’ Well, how do you know that? Because the swan families come back every year, and they bring their kids.” Read more...

MONTANA: "Trumpeter swans have historically migrated through the Bitterroot Valley," Tom Reed said. "It wasn't until three years ago that we had our first nest on the Lee Metcalf Wildlife Refuge. No one had historically ever known that swans nested in the Bitterroot Valley. From three years ago, and every year since then, we've had the same pair pull off a clutch of cygnets and they have successfully fledged on the refuge. So, it's really fortuitous that they are stopping and nesting. They have been pulling off a clutch, successfully. The first year, I think it was three (cygnets), then four. Last year, it was six." Read more...

MICHIGAN: Both Michigan and Wisconsin mounted restoration efforts in the 1980s to bring North America’s heaviest bird — adult males can weigh up to 30 pounds, females 23 pounds — back to the Midwest, using eggs collected in Alaska and then hatched for release in each state.

That has resulted in Wisconsin having nearly 6,000 swans in 2019, while Michigan in 2015 there were 3,000. Read more...

MINNESOTA: Minnesota has both migrating tundra swans and nesting and wintering trumpeter swans. Learn about each species in this interesting article. Read more...

MINNESOTA: "Taking another look at lead being used in fishing and hunting and its devastating impacts on native waterfowl, lawmakers could establish the Minnesota Swan Protection Act.

Sponsored by Rep. Rick Hansen (DFL-South St. Paul), HF3774 would create the act designed to protect native swans. The bill would prohibit the use of lead tackle in swan breeding waters, increase penalties for protection of the birds and appropriate money for a lead tackle collection program.

The bill was laid over Thursday by the House Environment and Natural Resources Finance and Policy Committee for possible inclusion in an omnibus bill, and to allow time for Hansen to work with committee members on the bill. There is no Senate companion."

ONTARIO: After submitting a Trumpeter Watch report, birder Jack Reynolds wrote of his experience sighting wing tagged Ontario trumpeter swans.

VIDEO: Here’s a quick trumpeter “swan smorgasbord’ of behavior. In less than a minute you can see preening, feeding, “tip up”, and take-off. You can also see and hear the “preflight” behavior of trumpeter swans getting ready to head off to the night’s roosting area.

Video by Margaret Smith, Executive Director, The Trumpeter Swan Society

WISCONSIN: Wisconsin Public Radio host Larry Mieller talks with guest Mark Naniot to discuss what happens to wildlife with lead poisoning. Most animals don’t get lead poisoning from being shot, they get it from ingesting it. We talk to a wildlife rehabilitator about where the lead comes from, what happens when too much lead is in the system of an animal, and how it can be treated. Listen to or download the podcast.

ONTARIO: "Reading the trumpeters’ wing tags can tell you a lot. Birds wearing yellow tags with a black code have been caught and banded in Ontario. Birds banded in the U.S. usually wear coloured collars, rather than tags; their collars are green, yellow or white with black or white codes." Read more about Ontario's marked swans including V64, nicknamed "Vesper" by the author, whose spirits were cheered watching the swan.

WASHINGTON: "A historic event has taken place in the Cultus Bay wetlands of South Whidbey, with the arrival of a second trumpeter swan. The large bird, as yet unnamed and of undetermined sex, just showed up about four days before Christmas, joining the previously lone swan living in the wetlands since 2019." Read more...

IOWA: Read about the rescue of a lone swan that was diagnosed with lead poisoning and safety measures that are needed to keep humans safe during winter rescues.

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