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Whistling Swans

These "Tundra Swans" or "Whistling Swans" as named in my Bird Book, are a beautiful sight to see flying over our house or viewing in the farmers fields the first week in March. They will stay around for about a month and then the first week in April they will head for another staging area on their long flight to the far Canadian North West Territories and Yukon.
They start out in Chesapeake Bay in Maryland where they have wintered for 3 months. It will only take them 24 hours to reach here their first stagging area and you will be able to see them in fields arround Long Point on west side of Lake Erie, Mitchell Bay on Lake St. Clair and the Pinery up on Lake Huron by Grand Bend, feeding in the corn fields.

Their measurements are about 36" long and wing span of 85".

You can see by this picture about the size of the birds. I believe this was when they were banding the birds which they started in 1998.
They will put a transmitter on the swans with a number that can be tracked by satellite. Various organizations will sponsor a swan that has been taged and give it a name, as it does cost $3,000,00 for each transmitter.


We have seen these swans in the fields almost every spring for the past 40 yrs in Dover township. They land where there is a body of water like marshes and flooded fields nearby. In the 60's my husband and I talked to a man that was tracking them and was from a Maryland University. He had a powerfull telescope and was trying to get a count on them. This was before the new tracking devices.
After they leave this area they travel on over Michigan and Wisconsin and then stage again in North Dakota, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, arriving up in the north for nesting in June.


These two pictures of the swans in the field were taken March 25th out in Dover Township and they stretched from one road to the next. These pictures were only a small portion of the flock, and what looks like snow in the far distance is really swans.


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