Trumpeter swan visits Teller Wildlife Refuge


Peering through the cattails, the large white bird stood out amongst several Canada geese and mallards as enormous. Could this be the largest North American waterfowl species?

While Teller is commonly visited by Tundra swans, this bird immediately sparked my curiosity by its size, particularly its long neck, extending several feet in length. With the aid of binoculars and photographs, it was confirmed as a large adult trumpeter swan. I could not distinguish whether this bird was a “cob” (male) or “pen” (female) and it appeared to be alone and likely will not be joining a mate to produce “cygnets” (young) this year.

Thought to be nearing extinction in the late 1800s due to over-harvesting, this magnificent bird represents a true conservation success story involving public and private interests and today we can celebrate as trumpeter swan populations rebound.

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