Posts tagged: Mike Rule
WILDLIFE – Today’s “Swan song” Outdoors feature in the Sunday Sports section tells the inspiring story of a senior swan at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge.
I dubbed him “Solo” when I wrote the 2002 column about the widower swan that kept returning to Turnbull without a mate.
But his perseverance paid off in 2009 when he finally bonded with a mate and sired the first hatch of cygnets on the refuge in 22 years. They repeated in 2010 with another brood.
Now it appears certain that Solo is gone. I’ve held off on the story since late January, working with refuge biologist Mike Rule to make certain that Solo didn’t show up as he has for about four decades.
A male trumpeter swan was found dead from lead poisoning nearby on Badger Lake in January. Rule does not think it was Solo, but he’s not sure. Unfortunately, the swan was not aged in the WSU necropsy.
Following is a long series of excerpts from my email correspondence with Rule, detailing the reasoning behind his belief that while Solo is gone, the legacy of his mate and offspring are alive and giving hope for a trumpeter swan future at Turnbull.