Thursday, March 11, 2010

Trumpeter Swan 75A Update

Posted by Kirk
Last November I wrote about a Trumpeter Swan we spotted at work during migration. A flock of swans took to hanging out at one of our lakes. I went down to scope them out and realized that one of them had a band. It took some doing since they liked to stay as far from us as possible but we finally agreed that the band number was 75A. We submitted the information to the banding office and just this week received a response.

Trumpter 75A was too young to fly when banded on August 23, 2004. The sex was unknown. The bird was banded in Wisconsin, about 8 miles north of Stillwater, MN.

That made the bird 5 years old when we saw at and 6 years old now. (In bird terms, all bird turn a year older on January 1.)

I did a quick map of where it was banded and where we spotted it.

This is really interesting because the bird is not far at all from where it was banded 5 years ago. We saw it on Mays Lake which is a private lake bordered by the Warner Nature Center and private property owned by Wilder Forest. We are 5 miles west of the St. Croix River and what this confirms for me is that the trumpeter swans that sometimes hang out on our lakes in the fall are part of the St. Croix River Flyway. Not unexpected since we are so close but cool to have confirmation. We're just far enough from the river to feel disconnected from it at times. It is nice to know that this prime habitat is used as a resting stop for birds following the river. Now then, if they could just spread the word to other waterfowl that would be great.

The Bald Eagles seem to have caught on to the prime habitat at the nature center and successfully fledged chicks at the nature center for the first time since the center opened in the 1960s. We're keeping our eye out for their return and I'll be sure to write about their nesting attempt this season if they return.