It has gotten harder and harder to think of winter birds here because it does not seem like winter at all with day time temps ranging from the upper 40’s to low 50’s so I have started dreaming of spring, summer, longer days and camping in some of my favorite places.
One of the locations I am daydreaming about is the Centennial Valley of Montana and the birds I find there. Trumpeter Swans come to mind because the swans there helped to repopulate Trumpeter Swans in their historical range after decades of declining populations.
In 1932 there were fewer than 200 Trumpeter Swans and now due to conservation efforts they number over 9,000. They are a conservation success story and quite frankly we need more successes like this. I simply can not imagine Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge without seeing their enchanting beauty or hearing their trumpeting calls.
I photographed these Trumpeter Swans of the Centennial Valley at Elk Lake last September, this pair didn’t have any young with them so they might not have had a successful breeding season or perhaps they were too young to breed yet. They weren’t skittish but did keep an eye on the pickup. They fluffed and preened and when they were done they swam gracefully away.
Life is good.
For more information about Trumpeter Swans check out the Trumpeter Swan Society.