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Old Nov 15, 2013, 11:45 AM   #1
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Default 82K...A Survivor

This is 82K one of the first group of Trumpeter Swans reintroduced to the "lower 48, nearly 25 years ago. She's be 25, on June 15th, 2014. In 1989, a group went to Minto Flats, east of Fairbanks, Alaska and gathered viable Trumpeter Swan eggs to be hatched and released in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan.
The last survivor of that first group started out at egg U-2. After hatching, she and others were raised in captivity with minimal human contact, for two years and released. She's raised a large number of cygnets and even at her age still keeps mate. She still has some pellets in her, after being shot years ago. Her mate at that time was killed. They were behind some reeds, so the pictures are blurred, but this old gal deserves to be seen.







For those of you who are interested in the Trumpeter Swan restoration project, here's a link to an article on the program.

http://www.jsonline.com/sports/outdo...180709761.html

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Old Nov 15, 2013, 2:53 PM   #2
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Hi Bob,

Nice!

. . . and some interesting information about the significance of this individual and her role in the highly successful reintroduction program to the Midwestern states.

I've seen (and heard!) a number of Trumpeters in the more spacious local Nature Centers here around Chicago, but have no pics because they were so far away, and there was no public access to areas where I might get a shot.

There was one good opportunity that I couldn't take advantage of though. One landed and briefly stayed at the lake on the grounds of my condo complex. Before I could get close, it took off. I still recall the sound of its wings catching the air though -- from over 200 feet away, I could easily hear the very loud whooshing and remember thinking that must be one big bird!

The most contact I've had with Swans has been with the Mute Swans that have become major players in the Canada Goose control efforts in this area. Many apartment/condo complexes with small lakes are renting mated pairs of Mute Swans (wings clipped so they can't leave) from early spring to late fall to discourage large numbers of CG from taking over their properties. About 5 years ago, I remember seeing a public park (maybe 50 acres) so overrun with CG (literally shoulder to shoulder) that people could not use it at all. When I first moved to this area, over 40 years ago, the only time we saw CG were when they were flying overhead in V formation during migration, and whenever we heard them, we'd rush outside to get a glimpse. . .Now they're everywhere, with large numbers even wintering here.

Thanks for posting!

Scott
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Old Nov 15, 2013, 3:53 PM   #3
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Thanks for the comments, Scott. Yes, their take-offs are impressive, even more so if there's several taking flight at once. They're the picture of serenity when floating on the water. Take off verges on an act of violence as they "attack" the air. As there were no genetic migration patterns for the introduced birds, they stay in the area all year. When the marshes freeze over they find open water. Just a few miles from us, hundreds gather on open water, providing lots of close up viewing.
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Old Nov 15, 2013, 5:14 PM   #4
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Good photos, and even better commentary. Thanks for sharing both the views and the fascinating information!
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Old Nov 15, 2013, 8:10 PM   #5
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That's what I love about this board, not only do you see wonderful photos, you also learn so much. I didn't know that about the trumpeter swans.
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Old Nov 16, 2013, 11:01 AM   #6
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Great story, thanks for sharing.
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