Feb 07 2013
Heavily hunted for meat and feathers, trumpeter swans nearly went extinct in the early 20th century, disappearing from all but a small range in Alaska and Canada.
When the swans were at their low ebb, states and provinces established reintroduction programs in the 1970′s and 1980′s in Ontario, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and (an introduction program in) Ohio.
Because of the Ohio program we now see trumpeter swans occasionally in western Pennsylvania, but if you want to see a really large flock the place to be is along the Mississippi River at Monticello, Minnesota in mid-winter. They’re there because the water is ice free, thanks to a nuclear power plant upstream.
Sparky Stensaas, the Photonaturalist, visited last month and produced this video.
Read his blog for more information about the Monticello trumpeters.
(video by Sparky Stensaas)