I always say “when the bears go to bed,the Trumpeters arrive”! They tag team. They are flying down from the Yukon. I took pictures when one of them had a neck ID tag on. (K-18) I sent the shot and location to the National Registry for Trumpeter swans.

The researchers thanked me and in return told me their story. (K-18 and K-19) They both had been caught and tagged in Taye lake in the Yukon. They crimped a metal ring onto their left ankle and also slipped a plastic neck sock on. This plastic neck sock has the ID number on it and is designed to decay and fall off. It doesn’t restrict their swallowing.

I copied this from a Jan 2013 (January 23rd,2013) Received some info about K19 from Jim Hawkings with the Canadian Wildlife Service out of Whitehorse. This is what he had to say about K19…………….”Not sure if anyone else (Ruth??) has tracked this down yet, but this is one of the birds captured in Yukon Territory, summer 2003 during the captures for the satellite telemetry study spearheaded by Ruth Shea and Rod Drewien. The bird was captured on 22 July 2003 at Taye Lake, 37 miles NW of Whitehorse (band # 1939-01708). It was not marked with a satellite transmitter. This is the first recovery I know of from this bird, but Ruth (or other folks in Southern BC) may have other sightings that never made their way to the banding lab’s recovery database. The other banded bird in the group was likely K19’s mate, formerly marked with neckband K18.

Only two have arrived so far with 8 being the size of this wedge (air) and bevy (water). I always look forward to seeing them. They are notorious for being skittish! They prefer to winter over in deep quiet fiord like inlets.

They are the largest bird (by weight) in North America.



  1. Wayne, how long do these birds live? The one you photographed would be almost 20 years old! I know some birds live a very long time. Great photos, but the information leaves a lasting impression!

  2. Hi Wayne, 2003 – that is a long time ago. I didn’t know birds lived that long. These are very beautiful and graceful. I have managed to write three wildlife poems this week after 2 months of nothing, so I am very happy.

      1. Another person pointed that out as well Robbie. Hawkins did the initial capture back in 03. Once the parent birds have died the family unit continues to grow. With no tags anymore I do not know who’s who?

      1. The code is the unique arrangement of rings to identify the bird so on our waders . We have a local mute Swan with a orange 48 number on it which pops up from time to time.

  3. I’m glad to see our Trumpeter pals have returned and hopefully we’ll see more photos of them. I remember when you got the info on this family of Trumpeters. I didn’t realize that the plastic neck sock is designed to decay and fall off. You’ll recall I took the photos of the Mute Swan pair at the Creek and the female had the neck ring … it was amazing that it slid up and down her long neck with each sip of water she took or if she dabbled. I was sure it was constricting at first glance. I should Google my swan and see if there are any dates on her.

  4. Great fun to see the Trumpeters have arrived, Wayne, and wonderful info about these two individuals. Fascinating how long-lived and successful they have been.

  5. They are beautiful birds and not as aggressive as the mute swans. They can be seen in Ontario all year round. And very close to the shore. I love to see them especially in the spring time when they make the shape of a heart.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s