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The trumpeter swan is a large, white bird averaging 4 to 5 ft. in length, with a wingspan of 6 to 8 ft. Adults are white, and juveniles are light to medium gray. Adults have black bills and feet and juveniles have pink bills and feet that gradually turn black the first year.
During the breeding season, trumpeter swans select small ponds and lakes with extensive beds of cattails, bulrush, and sedges. Ideal habitat includes about 328 ft. of open water for take-off, stable levels of unpolluted, fresh water, vegetation, low levels of human disturbance, and the presence of muskrat houses and beaver lodges for use as nesting platforms.
I saw this trumpeter swan on the marsh by South Tamarac Lake. The last record of wild breeding trumpeter swans in Minnesota, was about 1885. In 1969 trumpeter swans were brought back to Minnesota from Montana. In 1987, 21 two-year-old trumpeter swans were released successfully near Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge.