Date of this Version
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Birds and State Programs Mountain-Prairie Region Lakewood, Colorado.
Observers counted 4,290 swans (white birds and cygnets) in the Rocky Mountain Population of trumpeter swans during February 2010, which was a 19% decrease from the 5,265 counted during winter 2009. The number of white birds (3,600) and cygnets (690) decreased 19% and 22%, respectively, from counts last year. In the tri-state area, the number of total swans increased dramatically (79%) from a near record low count in Montana in 2009, but decreased in Wyoming (-9%), and Idaho (-24%). The number of birds wintering in areas near restoration flocks was the lowest since 2004. The numbers of birds at Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Malheur NWR and Summer Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA) all decreased from last year’s counts. Reservoir levels in early February were higher than during winter 2009, and were the highest they have been since 1998. Generally, temperatures in the tri-state area during winter 2009-10 were about average or just below average, and precipitation was about 50% of average.