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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Birds and State Programs Mountain-Prairie Region Lakewood, Colorado.
Observers counted 606 swans (white birds and cygnets) in the U.S. Breeding Segment of the Rocky Mountain Population of trumpeter swans during fall of 2013, a 2.2% increase from last year’s count (593). The number of white birds in the Tri-state region (451) increased 18% from last year’s count of 381. The total number of cygnets decreased 38.2%, from 178 in 2012 to 110 in 2013. Cygnet counts decreased from 2012 by 72.9% and 6.7% for Montana and Idaho, respectively, while Wyoming cygnet production remained the same as last year at 52. Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) did not conduct the swan survey this year. Twenty-four white birds were observed at the Summer Lake Wildlife Management Area, which was an increase of 41.2% from last year. Nevada counted 20 swans on this year’s survey. Precipitation throughout most of the Tri-state Area was 65% – 85% of normal during winter 2012 - 2013. During the summer months, temperatures were 1 – 3 degrees F warmer than average and precipitation was 25 – 50% of normal, especially during June - August. Palmer Drought Indices for areas within the Tri-state region declined for the second year for 2013.