Once believed to be well on their way to extinction, trumpeter swans are now enjoying some re-introduction success in Ontario, and across North America.
Less than 90 years ago, only a few dozen trumpeter swans remained outside of Alaska, and the birds had long been extirpated (locally extinct) in eastern Canada. Thankfully, with careful planning and re-introduction programs trumpeter swans now have a fairly stable population base in various wetlands and marshes across the US and Canada.
In Ontario, one such place is the Wye Marsh. A re-introduction plan began in the 1980’s, and the first baby (cygnet) trumpeter swan was born here in 1990, thanks to introduced birds. A few years later, and wild trumpeter swans were nesting at the marsh and calling the area home!
These are large birds, the largest waterfowl found in North America. To see them in the wild is a real treat, and to watch them take off, with their huge wingspans (up to 10 feet!) was a great experience.
The trumpeter swans at Wye Marsh are mostly found further away from the trails and lookouts, but with enough patience, a good camera lens (this photo was taken at full zoom) or binoculars, you should be able to catch a glimpse of these impressive creatures. I cam across these trumpeter swans as part of a 3-hour kayaking excursion deep into the lakes and marshes at Wye Marsh.