Saturday, January 12, 2019

Trumpeter Swan

On Thursday, 10 January, Erika and I took a quick drive to the confluence of the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers. Since this area is usually not frozen, many waterfowl can often be seen there. Not so on this trip. We found only a few Canada Geese and 11 Trumpeter Swans. Swans will attempt to brace Minnesota winters in ice-free areas. Young swans, like the dusky one in this photo, usually remain near their parents through their first winter. The species was hunted almost to extinction in the Lower 48 states. Habitat loss also played a role in the swan’s decline. Apparently Trumpeter Swans depended on beaver houses as nesting platforms. Breeding stock was obtained from multiple sources and, during the late 1900s, released in Minnesota. Now the wild population exceeds 2000 birds

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