WILDLIFE -- Turnbull Wildlife Refuge south of Cheney is in a family way this month with critters birthing and hatching young all over the place. (See list of 108 bird species documented at Turnbull in just two weeks at end of this post).
Fans of the late the trumpeter swan named Solo will revel in news that TWO trumpeter pairs are nesting at the refuge this year, up from one pair last year and no pairs for 22 years before 2009.
Solo was one of the original Turnbull trumpeters who lost his mate to a predator in the 1980s. He defended his territory at Turnbull through a 22-year drought without a suitable breeding partner before siring a family in 2009.
The trumpeters are crowd pleasers because they're so visible. The nesting pairs are on Middle Pine and Cheever ponds. If all goes well and their cygnets hatch in June, the attentive parents will parade their families for all to see from the visitor paths all summer and into the fall.
Amateur photographer Carlene Hardt focused on the trumpeters for two years and recently published a nifty book of photos and trumpeter information, "A Swan and His Family." The book, available at the Turnbull Refuge headquarters store, chronicles Solo's family life for several years.
Also worth checking out at the store is the booklet, "Discover Birds at Turnbull," published after years of research by students at the former Discovery School. The book has good information about a variety of Turnbull bird species with photos by local expert photographers.
The book is a showcase for Turnbull's service in providing wildlife and nature education for up to 8,000 students who visit the refuge each year.
Meanwhile, don't forget all the other bird species found at the refuge. Click "continue reading" for Tuesday's report report from Mike Rule, refuge wildlife biologist.
Species List, Turnbull NWR, 5/13/2013 - 5/28/2013 -- from Mike Rule
Here is the list of species seen on Turnbull NWR in the last 2 weeks. There year we have 2 nesting pairs of trumpeters , One on Middle Pine Lake and another on Cheever Lake.
double crested cormorant
great blue heron
Eurasian collared dove
great horned owl
northern pygmy owl
n. rough-winged swall