Trumpeter Swans are the largest existing species of waterfowl. With a wingspan that can exceed 10 feet and a weight than can top 25 pounds, they’re also the heaviest North America bird.
As impressive as they are territorial, these magnificent birds nearly followed the passenger pigeon’s route to extinction. By 1933 fewer than 70 were known to exist in the wild before several thousand were discovered around Alaska’s Copper River. Careful reintroductions by wildlife agencies and the Trumpeter Swan Society gradually restored the North American wild population to over 46,000 birds by 2010.
Each Spring we anticipate the return of a regal pair of Trumpeter Swans to our Alaskan lake. Together, this lifelong pair constructs a massive nest to incubate their eggs, from which downy signets will hatch in about 5 weeks.
Two years ago this regal duo successfully raised six signets. Sadly, last year none endured the Last Frontier’s survival-of-the-fittest harsh regime.
After spending the short Alaskan summer raising their new family, they will ‘snowbird’ to the southern United States for the winter.