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Photograph by Margaret Smith

2022 TTSS News Archive

News Highlights from 2022

The Marrow of Nature: A case for wetlands. This CBC broadcast, with its transcript, tells the story of how wetlands have been dismissed and even been the object of hostility, due to our agrarian past. "Wetlands are under increasing pressure — according to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, about 35 per cent of the world's wetlands have been lost since the 1970s — but those pressures date back far beyond the present day." Read more...

ONTARIO: See the photos and read the story of one photographer's experience watching trumpeter swans 'taking a bath'.

IOWA: "The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has identified a record number of trumpeter nests. The species was reintroduced in Iowa in 1993." Read the article...

ALBERTA: "Trumpeter swans sound like, well, trumpets. Their calls are deep and loud when they want to make their presence known. Tundra swans have a much quieter call, higher pitched and softer. Another name for these guys is whistling swan." Read the article

WISCONSIN: At the 2021 Wisconsin Water Week, Sumner Matteson who led the state's swan recovery program, gave this excellent hour long talk. Climate Change and Charismatic Birds, the trumpeter swan restoration program. A celebration of unique private/state partnerships featuring an exploration of the history, challenges, and development of Wisconsin's Trumpeter Swan Recovery Program spanning the end of one century and beginning of another. Watch the video...

WISCONSIN: Cable Natural History Museum Naturalist Emily Stone takes a northwoods journey. It includes an encounter with trumpeter swans, "Splashing came next- the sound of huge, webbed feet down a 100 yard runway, and finally the rush of air through feathers as the displaced pair appeared over the top of the trees. Having cleared that obstacle, the swans stopped flapping, arched their wings and glided down toward a dark lake before sending up a line of glittering spray. Silence descended as the moon rose." Read the article

US Fish and Wildlife Service: Minnesota Artist Joseph Hautman Wins 2022 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest. Hautman’s acrylic painting will be made into the 2023-2024 Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, or “Duck Stamp”, which will go on sale in late June 2023. The Service produces the Federal Duck Stamp, which sells for $25 and raises approximately $40 million in sales each year. These funds support critical conservation to protect wetland habitats in the National Wildlife Refuge System for the benefit of wildlife and the enjoyment of people. Read more, see the image

WISCONSIN: The restoration of trumpeter swans to Wisconsin is a fascinating story. Read more...

ONTARIO: Swan C70 was adopted by the Friends of Wye Marsh earlier this year and, in honour of the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II ascending to the throne, she was given the name Elizabeth. A letter was sent to Buckingham Palace during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee to inform the monarch of the swan’s adoption.Wye Marsh Executive director Kim Hacker signed the letter to the Queen, and this week the Wye Marsh, much to its surprise, received a response.

“The Queen was touched to see the photograph of Elizabeth, the splendid Trumpeter Swan you have named after her Majesty to mark The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee milestone,” replied lady-in-waiting Annabel Whitehead. Read more...

iLLINOIS: "Officials said the discovery is the first documented successful breeding of trumpeter swans at a McHenry County Conservation District site.

"State endangered trumpeter swans have had to compete with the more common, non-native mute swans for nesting sites," according to conservation district officials."

Read more...

OREGON: 2 baby trumpeter swans hatch in Sunriver, a small milestone in species' comeback! “The community is so invested in these swans, and I think that’s really what wildlife needs,” Kelli Neumann, program director at the Sunriver Nature Center said, adding that “if people care about them, then people care about their success.” Read more...

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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