[CT Birds] Why I include Trumpeter Swan on my state list

Mark Szantyr birddog55 at charter.net
Tue Mar 30 23:21:58 EDT 2010

I guess the conversation is centered around the fact that this species has 
been extirpated from the east for hundreds of years.

There is still discussion being had as to whether this species ever wintered 
north of Chesapeake Bay historically.  A lot of the "evidence"  is hearsay 
and could be the product of misidentification.  There is no guarantee that 
they will be successful from current introduction though it does look sort 
of promising.  It is a matter of deciding when and if the birds being seen 
are naturally occuring due to their own nature and not a result of human 
intervention...this is not going to be easy to know.  I agree with 
Charlie...count them if you want.  We on the committee are bound by a higher 
duty.  Our charge is to keep the record of birds in Connecticut above 
reproach not just in 2010 but for posterity.  If I were you, I'd go see 

Mark S. Szantyr
80 Bicknell Road #9
Ashford, Connecticut 06278
Birddog55 at charter.net
----- Original Message ----- 
From: <Chasbarnard at aol.com>
To: <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
Sent: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 10:42 AM
Subject: [CT Birds] Why I include Trumpeter Swan on my state list

> Since the rules and reasons for non-acceptance have been  put forth, I 
> feel
> that it is OK for me to make a case for acceptance of  the Trumpeter 
> Swans.
> As Nick, Mark and others (all of whom  I have a lot of respect for) have
> previously said, this is an  individual decision anyway.
> I  think that it is an "apples and oranges" situation when a  native
> species, reoccupying a portion of it's  former range, is compared with a
> non-native species which never  had a presence in North America (e.g.Monk 
> Parakeet).
> Trumpeter  Swans migrated from Canada (from both sides of James Bay)  to
> the  Chesapeake Bay area and back for thousands of years before we came 
> along
> - no  one disputes that.  So what do they have to prove about their 
> ability
> to adapt to the region and be self-sustaining?  They have  done it
> previously for thousands of years - not just 20 years.
> The Ontario reintroduction effort has been going on for about 20 years
> anyway ( I remember the Danbury bird from the mid 90's) and has  produced 
> a
> self-sustaining and expanding population.
> Hunting pressure and lead poisoning seem to be the primary  reasons that
> the Eastern population was eliminated in the first place. It is not  as if
> they disappeared primarily due to loss of habitat or the  inability to 
> compete
> against an introduced species taking over the  Trumpeter's ecological
> niche.  Unfortunately, Tundra Swan hunting is  apparently still legal in 
> some
> states, so that could still pose  a major threat to the birds on 
> migration.
> (What hunter or  birder could consistently distinguish between a flying 
> Tundra
> Swan and  a flying Trumpeter Swan?)
> The Stratford birds appear to be "born in the wild," adult (no  mottling 
> on
> the black legs) birds.  I am of the view (this is supposition)  that they
> were birds which most likely made the trip to the Chesapeake  region 
> (maybe
> with Tundra Swans or Snow Geese) and were on the return to  Canada when 
> the
> strong winds from the West pushed them over us. This  happens fairly
> frequently with Snow Geese and Tundra Swans. So, they came  down to rest 
> and
> recover, as many birds pushed a bit off course do.
> Last thought: isn't it ironic that we have accepted Barnacle Goose and
> Pink-footed Goose, based upon their association with banded Canada Geese 
> from
> Greenland (a decision which I agree with), but we don't accept a Trumpeter
> Swan,  which is a native North American species on the ragged  fringes of 
> a
> flyway which it has used previously for thousands of  years?
> Charlie Barnard
> Stratford
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