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Trumpeter Swan Family

Cygnus buccinator


Trumpeter Swan survival is based on a foundation of strong family bonds and crucial learned patterns of habitat use (traditions) acquired by associating with older more experienced birds, usually family members. Trumpeters may live 20-30 years in the wild. They usually maintain very predictable annual movement and habitat use patterns unless faced with a significant habitat change. In turn, they teach these patterns to their cygnets. Pairs usually mate for life and return each year to the same nesting wetland, often using the same nest mound. After gaining flight in September, cygnets follow their parents to their wintering area and learn its resources and hazards while they remain with their parents through their first winter. Cygnets often remain with their broodmates through at least their first year and may regroup with their parents at the usual family wintering site in subsequent winters. These strong family bonds help cygnets continue to learn key migration routes and food resources from more experienced adults. When Trumpeters were reduced to near extinction, the damage was much greater than simply the great decline in numbers. Crucial knowledge of traditional migration routes and winter food sources was also lost. Recreating that knowledge is one of the greatest challenges in the effort to rebuild secure populations. - The Trumpeter Swan Society


On the main channel of the Mississippi River off of Thomson Causeway Recreation Area

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Illinois, USA

Lat: 41.95, Long: -90.12

Spotted on Feb 20, 2016
Submitted on Feb 20, 2016

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