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Trumpeter Swan Watch

Main Project Information
Presented By The Trumpeter Swan Society
Goal Document changing distribution of wintering Trumpeter Swans
Task Spot, record and share sightings.
Where North America 12615 County Road 9, 55441 Plymouth, Minnesota 55441 USA

By 1900, Trumpeter Swans were extirpated from their nesting and wintering areas in Central and Eastern North America. Their historic migrations to southerly wintering sites were totally destroyed. In recent decades wild nesting populations of Trumpeters have successfully recovered or have been restored. Many swans migrate to separate wintering areas, but others winter near their northern breeding areas. An unknown number are pioneering southward where they are beginning to establish use of more southerly wintering sites.

Little is known regarding the numbers and groupings of southward migrants east of the Rocky Mountains, the location and characteristics of the sites they are pioneering, the duration of use, or problems they may be encountering. By providing information through Trumpeter Watch, observers can help document the changing distribution of migrating and wintering Trumpeter Swans and help identify potential new southerly migration and wintering sites.

How to Join

1. Submit your observations directly to us by mail, or email to If you plan to report regularly, we ask that you REGISTER with TRUMPETER WATCH to make our communication most efficient.

2. Be sure to include any information on your swan sighting, such as the # of swans and their age (adult - white - or immature - gray - birds) and the presence of collars or wing-tags. In addition, if you post to a state Listserv, a simple message to us such as "see my post of January 12, 2011" will be sufficient.

3. Location detail is very helpful. List the state and county, a landmark such as a park, a lake, an intersection we can find on a Google map, and GPS coordinates if at all possible.

4. Please report any first observation of a Trumpeter Swan at a new location to us by email as soon as possible, by email or by using our Trumpeter Swan Sightings Report Form:

5. We encourage you to regularly check on the location to observe further the duration and pattern of use by Trumpeters. While even a single observation is helpful, repeated observations with arrival and departure dates are especially valuable, particularly in new terrain being used by Trumpeter Swans. If you wish, we have a Summary Report Form available.

Project Timing fall, spring, and winter, during swan migration and wintering.
Social Media
Special Skills swan species identification
Ideal Age Group College, Graduate students, Adults, Families, Seniors
Ideal Frequency Just once
Average Time Less than an hour
Spend the Time outdoors
Type of Activity At home, In oceans, streams, rivers, lakes, While fishing, In snow or rain, On a walk, run, On a hike, In the car
Media Mentions
and Publications
Tags birds, climate change, trumpeter swan, trumpeter swan distribution, waterfowl
Project Updated 05/23/2018