WILDLIFE WATCHING -- For 22 years through 2009, only one trumpeter swan reliably returned to Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge each winter or spring -- whenever enough open water was exposed by ice thawing at the headquarters-area ponds.
Now the legacy of Solo, the lone male trumpeter that finally found love in 2009, lives on in at least a baker's dozen.
Nesting is likely. Broods usually hatch around Father's Day.
Here's today's swan observation from Mike Rule, refuge wildlife biologist:
We watched 13 swans flying down the creek in front of the office this morning . They landed on Winslow Pond and Middle Pine. There were
5 cygnets and 9 adults.
Four of the adults are likely the 2 breeding pairs from last year. The age of other 5 adults is unknown. They could be any combination of the 9 swans fledged in 2009, 2010, or 2012. We potentially have four unaccounted for breeding age swans from Solo's 2 broods. Hopefully we'll get another nesting pair established this year.
This same group was seen for a couple days in mid-January during a short thaw.
- See this blog post for history on the Turnbull trumpeters and the senior swan who helped them make their comeback.