Date of this Version
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Birds and State Programs Mountain-Prairie Region Lakewood, Colorado.
Observers counted 4,584 swans (white birds and cygnets) in the Rocky Mountain Population of trumpeter swans during February 2004, an increase of 15% from the 3,974 counted in February 2003 and a record-high count for the Mid-winter Survey. The numbers of white birds (3,831) and cygnets (753) increased 12% and 38%, respectively, from counts last year. In the tristate area, increases in total swans occurred in all 3 states (Montana +56%; Idaho +10%; Wyoming +19%). The number of birds wintering in areas near restoration flocks was somewhat lower than counts in recent years, but much lower than during the early 1990s. Drought conditions persisted in much of the tri-state area, and reservoir levels in early February were among the lowest recorded for that time of year. Temperatures during winter 2003-04 were somewhat colder than average, and were punctuated by several days of extremely cold temperatures in some locales. Precipitation in primary winter areas was above average from December 2003 through February 2004.