Saturday, March 25, 2017

Trumpeter Swans Everywhere, A Vist to Lake Erie Shore to Bird Watch...March 19, 2017


Tom and I made a day trip to the Black Swamp area of Ohio on Sunday, March 19. Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge and Metzger Marsh are part of the remaining Black Swamp which once covered thousands of acres. Most of it has been drained and is now used for farming. 

Photo by Tom Persing

We expected to see a variety of ducks.  We did. Tom counted sixteen species of ducks.  We could see them through our binoculars and spotting scope but only a few were close enough to photograph like these male Northern Shovelers (Anas clypeata).

Photo by Tom Persing

What we did see in abundance were Trumpeter Swans (Cygnus buccinator).  They are the United States's biggest native waterfowl.




Three photos of Swans by Tom Persing

In 1935, the total number of known individual Trumpeter Swans was 69.  They had been  hunted nearly to extinction for meat, skins, and feathers.  There were none breeding in Ohio until they were reintroduced in 1996.  Trumpeter Swans are still listed as Threatened in Ohio.

Trumpeter Swans have been a classic conservation success story although they are still listed as Threatened in Ohio. According to an article from the Cornell Lab of  Ornithology..."between 2000 and 2005 a continentwide survey found that Trumpeter Swan numbers had more than tripled, from 11,156 to 34,803."

The swans breed on wetlands in Alaska, Canada and the northwestern United States.  Most of the swans we saw are on their way to Canada.  We hope a few stay to breed in Ohio.

1 comment:

Far Side of Fifty said...

They are showing up in pairs on the corn stubble fields and will settle on small ponds to rear their young. Their survival in this area is due to several wonderful people dedicated to the Trumpeter Swans.
I bet you would enjoy this article as much as I did.
http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/mcvmagazine/issues/2017/mar-apr/trumpeter-swan-history.html