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Trumpeter swans

One of the problems of taking your driving seriously is that one does not always see things of interest off the highway a ways. So, I was most grateful when H once again pointed to some birds off the road and asked “what kind of swans are those?”. I was thrilled and pulled over to capture an image of these Trumpeter swans (Cygnus buccinator). Adult Trumpeter swans are on the left of the image with juvenile Trumpeter swans being the darker grey colored birds on the right and were found in an appropriately named Swan Valley, Idaho. I could not get any closer without trespassing on private property, but was most happy to see these glorious birds while I stood in the cold listening to their gentle honking call.

Trumpeter swans are the largest native North American bird and is in fact, the largest waterfowl species on Earth. Because of this, these animals were hunted heavily for their meat and feathers. However, because of their sensitivity to lead and the hunting pressures, these animals numbers had been reduced to almost zero in the Southern part of their range by the middle of the 20th century. Even though they have recovered from Endangered status, their population recovery has had only modest success in the United States as many of their habitats have been destroyed or developed.

Categories: Birds.

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