[Tweeters] Trumpeter Swan update

Glenn Johnson glennjo at yahoo.com
Sat Sep 4 09:51:25 PDT 2021

Hi Martha, 
If the two older birds are of breeding age, is it possible the younger bird is a hatch-year bird that the pair produced and fledged locally this year? Or were you able to age it is at least a second-year bird? I'm not very familiar with Trumpeter Swan aging criteria, but I'm hoping you may be able to confirm age.  
I was the biologist who detected the pair of Trumpeter Swans on June 16 at the Spanaway Wetlands on JBLM while doing the wetland bird survey for Puget Sound Bird Observatory, in coordination with JBLM. You and I both communicated with Tim Leque the biologist at JBLM, and he mentioned that you thought the birds I saw were most likely non-breeding birds, though I'm not sure you had a chance to look at the photos I sent. I thought that there may have been some off-white or darker areas but could have been due to dirt or water--the photos and especially the videos of them in flight especially look pretty white. Based on their behavior at the time I suspected it was possible they may be nesting, though I wasn't able to confirm any direct evidence of that during the survey on June 16. After I saw the swans I ran in to an intern for JBLM who said he'd seen the swans in the same area a couple weeks prior. The biologist from JBLM also did some follow up from land after June 16 but I don't think anyone found them again. (I was in a kayak with some unique views of the emergent vegetation/islands in the wetlands, so it's possible they were not able to see where I first saw them). Unfortunately my vacation and work schedule and conditions of my access permit (only weekdays) didn't allow me to return with they kayak to look for more concrete evidence of potential breeding before the potential fledge date. Nesting birds seemed a long shot but I was hoping to spend more time creeping/paddling around the marsh to try to confirm either way.   
If the immature bird was hatched this year, then a nesting pair on Spanaway marsh would be a likely explanation to your question in your recent Tweeters post. Or perhaps the three of them are from a breeding population somewhere else, and arrived at some point in the winter and stayed through the breeding season (and I just didn't see the immature bird in June). Or the three birds could be totally different than the pair I saw, though I suspect they may be the same birds.  Hart's Lake is directly south of where I saw the pair by about 12 miles, with a long string of wetlands nearly connecting the two areas. 
Here are my poor quality videos and photos, mostly taken through 8 x 42 binoculars with an iPhonehttps://www.dropbox.com/sh/yg229qm4roqf0jl/AAAP-GFXuGSVx9s4kdIJHgr1a?dl=0  and with more notes posted here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S94128204 
Any thoughts on these birds in the photos and/or your two adult birds from Hart's Lake being potential breeders would be appreciated.
Thanks for the updates! Glenn
Glenn JohnsonProject Manager and Senior Biologist, Harris Environmental GroupVolunteer Ornithologist/Board of Director, Puget Sound Bird Observatory Fircrest, Washington520-237-8653
  4. Trumpeter update (Martha Jordan)

Date: Thu, 2 Sep 2021 18:53:26 -0700
From: Martha Jordan <mj.cygnus at gmail.com>
To: Tweeters <tweeters at u.washington.edu>
Subject: [Tweeters] Trumpeter update
    <CAPbe3Q4qgpc9vfj5DqcrhtCPOyuJAG8AHd9HJggfBgv03LrUNA at mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

The wayward juvenile Trumpeter was found wandering on a residential road at
Harts Lake late yesterday afternoon. The fishing line continued to take a
terrible toll. The bird was captured, the fishing line removed, and after
spending a night at my house in temporary quarters, it is now at a rehab
center that specializes in swans (although they do a lot more than that).
    The question remains: where did the 2 adult TRUS and this youngster
originate and why did they all stay together this past year including the
entire 2021 breeding season?
    The adults are still at Harts Lake although they are likely to move
around over the next few weeks and month or so until the migration from the
north comes down.

Martha Jordan
Everett, WA
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