[CT Birds] Trumpeter Swans: A comment

Boletebill boletebill at yahoo.com
Tue Mar 30 13:31:42 EDT 2010

Following the 2007 Trumpeter sightings in CT I had a long email correspondence with Harry Lumsden who started and ran the Ontario re-introduction since the 1980's.  I also had a correspondence with Beverly Kingdon who now runs the program with volunteers.
For those wondering about "countability" and the rules for countability I'll offer a couple of comments from what I learned through Harry and Bev.  The project began in the '80's and until 1993 all the birds were "hacked" or hand reared. Since 1993 the population had increased to the point where some portion of the birds were wild born and "out on their own". Most of these birds were tagged but not all of them and since 1993 wild birds (both tagged and untagged) have been free to migrate or not migrate. So since 1993 some of the Ontario Trumpeters have been wild born and others hand reared and some tagged and some not tagged.
As of 2006 the population had exceeded 400 adults and the birds were considered a viable naturally reproducing population FOR THAT PART OF ONTARIO. About that time or just before Ontario dropped their funding for the re-introduction project. Since then the program has been run by volunteers.
Whether the Eastern population ever wintered along the northeast coast north of Chesapeake Bay is the subject of debate and controversy about which I know nothing.
The eastern population is believed to have been extirpated for 200 years, well before the infamous feather trade of the late 1800's.
Hope that sheds a little light on the Ontario connection to some of these magnificent birds.
Bill YuleLyme, CT

"For those who hunger after the earthly excrescences called mushrooms."


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