WILDLIFE WATCHING — Trumpeter swans are doubling the fun Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge this summer with two nesting pairs, each of which has hatched a brood of cygnets in the past week.
Just seven years ago, only one trumpeter called Turnbull home. I named him Solo in a column documenting his lonely two decades of seeking a mate.
In 2009, Solo, by then a geriatric swan age 35-48, attracted a viable mate. He sired the first brood of trumpeters on the refuge since his first mate was killed on her nest by a predator in 1988
Solo disappeared two seasons later, but his mate bonded with another male to produce a brood last year. This year, it appears that one of the birds produced by the swans also has returned with a mate.
Here's today's report from Mike Rule, refuge wildlife biologist:
Both nesting pairs of trumpeters at Turnbull NWR have hatched. The pair on Cheever Lake hatched 3 cygnets on June 13 and the Middle Pine pair hatched 4 cygnets on June 19 or 20. The female of the Middle Pine pair is likely Solo's (the really old swan) mate who started the ball rolling again in 2009.