[CT Birds] Why I include Trumpeter Swan on my state list
Jim.Pfeifer at erm.com
Wed Mar 31 14:08:12 EDT 2010
I am fairly new at this, so please enlighten me, but what evidence is there that Trumpeter Swans ever had a sustained breeding population in the east? Everything I've read suggests that this argument is not based on any real scientific work or data, and that the re-introduction/introduction (depending on your position on the issue) of this species is potentially harmful to the wetland ecosystems and related resident native waterfowl, and other fauna and flora.
I did get to see the pair recently reported in Stratford/Shelton, and they were magnificent, but I would like to better understand the rationale in advocating for them as a "State Bird". Are there publications available to better understand this issue.
James L. Pfeifer, LEP
Senior Project Manager
Environmental Resources Management (ERM)
77 Hartland Street, Suite 300
East Hartford, Connecticut 06108
860-466-8515 - Office
From: ctbirds-bounces at lists.ctbirding.org [mailto:ctbirds-bounces at lists.ctbirding.org] On Behalf Of edward.raynor at maine.edu
Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 1:16 PM
To: Mark Szantyr
Cc: Chasbarnard at aol.com; ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org
Subject: Re: [CT Birds] Why I include Trumpeter Swan on my state list
Down here in the Delta,
The LBRC will not accept a first state record unless it is a
specimen(full evidence) or a decent to great photo(hard-evidence) of a
wild bird; no sight records for state firsts (period). For example,
the Brown-chested Martin sight record for CT would not be accepted by
the likes of the LBRC until a specimen(which actually secretly,
occurred last fall) or a photo of another individual was received and
the hard-evidence record would be the first state record and the
previous sight record would be the second state record (e.g Chihuanan
Raven records for LA).
The recent wintering pair of Trumpeter Swans in northern LA will be
probably not be fully accepted and will go down as origin uncertain or
some other alternative. I'm assuming this will be the case for the CT
committee. When a conclusive manuscript is published on the
reintroduced population and its breeding success without aid of humans
and potentially, independent future in the eastern U.S., I'd fully
accept the record.
My 2 cents and some rambling....
Quoting "Mark Szantyr" <birddog55 at charter.net>:
> 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 them.
> 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
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