Spring Migration

Duckula

Member
Just wondering if anyone has seen any Tundra Swans at Long Point yet? Here in Pennsylvania at Middle Creek Wildlife Management area the Swan count yesterday afternoon was about 5,000 birds. We had 2 very cold nights and as such the impoundment was 2/3 frozen along with a few inches of frozen snow in the fields prompting the Swans and about 80,000 snow geese to liftoff last evening and fly out to who knows where. The birds have not returned as of noon today. The next stop North for Swans from Middle Creek is Long Point. Curious to know if any new birds arrived there last night or today.





Thanks.
 

Tundra Swan

Well-Known Member
Hello Duckula,

I have seen a few Tundra Swans on a regular basis at Long Point throughout the winter so far but yesterday while working in the backyard I had about 24 Tundra Swans fly over my backyard blind at about 30 yards.

Jerome
 

Duckula

Member
Hello Duckula,

I have seen a few Tundra Swans on a regular basis at Long Point throughout the winter so far but yesterday while working in the backyard I had about 24 Tundra Swans fly over my backyard blind at about 30 yards.

Jerome
The birds ( Swans 3,750 and Snows 115,000) seem to have returned to Middle Creek as the numbers as of today are way up again. Was in Maryland over the weekend and there are many birds still there but very concentrated and definitely moving north. Where we were on Chesapeake bay saw few Swans where weeks ago were hundreds. Lots of Cans and Redheads still there also.
 

Duckula

Member
Migration definitely in full swing now. Not as many Swans and Snows at the refuge and with the strong south winds I can’t help but think today or tonight will be a big push North. It’s 21c today, south winds at about 48k. If it was me I’d be flying lol.
 

Tundra Swan

Well-Known Member
I counted over 800 Tundra Swans (Big Creek to Coletta Bay) yesterday afternoon from my kitchen.

I saw those Canvasbacks and Redheads too ... along with some Goldeneyes.

Jerome
 

keeper

Well-Known Member
Tundra vs Whistling vs Mute how do you tell the difference ? tundra and whistling are the same ?
 

Tundra Swan

Well-Known Member
Hello Keeper,

I posted a "Swan Identification Guide" that I had prepared for Delta Waterfowl, the Manitoba Wildlife Federation and the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation last summer on this waterfowl forum.

I also posted a paper copy of my guide as well as a Tundra Swan season update and reasons to support a Tundra Swan season at the Long Point Waterfowl Management Unit last fall with extra copies of each at the unit office.

The Tundra Swan is the Whistling Swan (the name changed in the 1970s) and is smaller (16 to 18 lbs) than the Trumpeter Swan (24 to 27 lbs). Please note that I have condensed the average weight range of these swans).

The Mute Swan (an exotic invasive species that should be "delisted" and removed from our marshes) is about the same size as the Trumpeter Swan but has an orange bill and is usually seen with a curved neck on the water.

I can fax you a copy of my guide if you have access to a fax machine. You may phone me (519-586-9825) any evening or e-mail me (thebuddyboy@hotmail.com) and I can send it to you that way.

I would encourage you to take a look at The Trumpeter Swan Society web site and check out their "swan identification" section. Please consider supporting this organization if you can.

Jerome
 

keeper

Well-Known Member
Tundra Swan . thanks for the update. I guess the comment whistling swan shows my age. thanks once again
 

Tundra Swan

Well-Known Member
Hello Keeper,

Here is the "Swan Identification Guide" that I prepared last summer for those just starting to learn how to identify the three species of swans in North America.

Jerome

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Swan Identification Guide

There are two native species of swans in North America.

These are the larger Trumpeter Swan (24 to 27 lbs) and the smaller Tundra Swan (16 to 18 lbs). The exotic Mute Swan was introduced to North America from Europe in the late 1800s.

Although the Trumpeter Swan and the Tundra Swan may look similar to one another there are a few differences that will help the beginner to identify these three species of swans.

1) The Trumpeter Swan is larger ... about 1 1/2 times the size of the Tundra Swan.

Tip: The word "trumpeter" (three syllables and nine letters) is bigger than the word "tundra" (two syllables and six letters). Therefore remember that the Trumpeter Swan is bigger than the Tundra Swan by 1 1/2 times (24 to 27 lbs compared to 16 to 18 lbs).

Tip: Remember that the weight (high end) of a Trumpeter Swan is the product of its three syllables times its nine letters (3 x 9 = 27). The Tundra Swan is 2/3 of that weight (18).

2) The Trumpeter Swan's bill and head is "wedge shaped" whereas the Tundra Swan's bill and head is more "curved and round" in shape.

Tip: Think of the Canvasback Duck (a larger duck with a red "wedge shaped" head) compared to the Redhead Duck (a smaller duck with a red "round shaped" head).

Although the Mute Swan is as large as a Trumpeter Swan it has a distinctly orange bill and as the name implies is silent (for the most part). However the Mute Swan will aggressively "hiss" at humans and other waterfowl in the marsh ... a notable "bully" towards other waterfowl.

Note that both the Greater Snow Goose and the Lesser Snow Goose (white phase) have black wing tips while all of the swans have white wing tips.

For more information on swan identification see The Trumpeter Swan Society's web site and "click" on the Swan Identification Brochure tab.

Prepared by Jerome Katchin, D.V.M.
 
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