Here's to Valentine’s Day – Sweet Swans Forever

January 30, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

As I was driving to the release location for the snowy owl (previous post!), I went past a large pond with dozens of waterfowl in it. The 10-acre pond is fed by artesian springs, which means it won't freeze and so it provides great habitat for waterfowl that winter in that area of northern Ohio. I promised myself I would stop by the pond the next day and get some shots of the dozens of geese, ducks and swans. My favorite images are now in the gallery ( During my time there, two beautiful and large (!) swans swam up a few feet from the pond’s edge where I was taking shots. I noticed one of them had a band around its neck. The swan, pictured here, is a Trumpeter swan. Why banded?  Trumpeter swans were once endangered.  Market hunters and feather collectors had decimated Trumpeter swan populations by the late 1800s. Swan feathers adorned fashionable hats, women used swan skins as powder puffs, and the birds’ long flight feathers were coveted for writing quills. Aggressive conservation helped the species recover by the early 2000s. Banding allows for studying the movement, survival and behavior of swans, and many other birds also banded. The Ohio Division of Wildlife has completed annual trumpeter swan surveys since the species’ reintroduction in 1996. I reported my sighting of this banded Trumpeter to the North American Bird Banding Program, jointly administered by the United States Geological Survey and the Canadian Wildlife Service.  Depending on availability of records for this particular swan, I may learn more in a few weeks about its history. I can’t wait and I hope to share some news!  More cool facts about the Trumpeter swan are here,

Banded Trumpeter Swan


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