Date of this Version
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Birds and State Programs Mountain-Prairie Region Lakewood, Colorado.
Observers counted 5,265 swans (white birds and cygnets) in the Rocky Mountain Population of trumpeter swans during January and February 2009, which was a 14% increase from the 4,637 counted during winter 2008. The number of white birds (4,377) and cygnets (888) increased 15% and and 10%, respectively, from counts last year. In the tri-state area, the number of total swans decreased dramatically in Montana (-54%), were slightly higher in Wyoming (+3%), and increased (+24%) to a record-high count in Idaho. The number of birds wintering in areas near restoration flocks was the highest since 1996. The numbers of birds at Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and Malheur NWR increased, whereas the count of birds near Summer Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA) was nearly the same as that of last year. Reservoir levels in early February were dramatically higher than during winter 2008, and cumulatively were 7% above the long-term average. Generally, temperatures in the tri-state area during winter 2008-09 were about average, and precipitation was slightly above average.