• Trumpeter Swan

    Common NameTrumpeter Swan
    Scientific NameCygnus buccinator
    Type of ReportRare Species
    Date of Observation03/20/2018
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    Number Observed1
    Reporting Observer's NameRich Kelley
    Mailing Address17 Hog Island Rd
    Swanton, VT 05488
    United States
    Map It
    EmailEmail hidden; Javascript is required.
    Date Completed04/16/2018
    Names & Emails of Other Contributing Observers

    A number of people were in the area, mostly at the Charcoal Creek, but I was alone at the time of this observatoin

    Latitude of Observation44.975967
    Longitude of Observation-73.218364
    Place NameLake Champlain
    CountyGrand Isle
    Vermont eBird Checklist URLebird.org
    Time of Day08:00 AM
    Length of Time Observed5-10 minutes
    Maximum Estimated Distance from Bird (in feet)1500
    Minimum Estimated Distance from Bird (in feet)1500
    Noteworthy Weather Conditions

    Clear and bright, but cold

    Optical Equipment Used for Observation

    Binos, 500mm DSLR lens

    Observer’s Previous Acquaintance With This or Similar Species

    This submission is intended as a supplement, more than as an individual sighting, as I'm reasonably sure this was the same bird reported on the 18th and 19th. I submitted a RSD report for the sighting on the 18th, in which I mentioned seeing the bird again on the 19th in the same general area.

    For this report, while I suspect it's the same bird, the location for this report is about 2 miles due west of the previous sighting.

    I certify that that attachments included with this report were captured during this observation event​​.
    Description of Habitat

    The channel of Lake Champlain, leading from the "Inland sea" to Missisquoi Bay, under the West Swanton bridge. The channel was about half-frozen over at the time. The birds were north of the bridge, about half-way between Swanton and Alburgh. It should be noted that the lat/long provided about are approximate, taken from Google maps. The location on the eBird checklist was from my phone via ebird mobile.

    Behaviors Observed

    Each of the previous two days, the swan had been seen in the nearby Charcoal Creek, in with a large number of canada geese. Before locating the swan in the lake, I had visited the Creek and did not see it
    there. When seen at the time on the 20th, the swan was curled up in with a large group of canada geese, no other behavior observed.

    Description of Vocalizations


    Verbal Narrative & Description of Observation

    After visiting Charcoal Creek and not seeing the swan, I stopped at the West Swanton boat access and could see a large number of canada geese on the lake, I noticed one larger white bird in with them, but too distant to get any positive ID. (see submitted photo 2)

    From there, I crossed the bridge, stopping at more or less the high point on the bridge, where I could look down onto the swan, although still very distant. (see submitted photo 1).

    Relative Size & Shape

    Curled up at the time of sighting, approximately 50% bigger than surrounding canada geese


    Not visible

    Feet & Bill

    Not visible

    Upper Back

    Solid white

    Lower Back & Rump

    solid white, from what could be seen


    solid white, from what could be seen

    Breast, Belly, Flanks, Under Tail Coverts

    solid white, from what could be seen


    solid white, from what could be seen

    IMPORTANT: What similar species were eliminated when making the identification and how was this bird different?

    The previous sightings and known proximity contributed strongly to this identification, as no distinct markings could be seen on the bird from this current vantage point.

    Other Notes & Comments

    As already mentioned, there were numerous (daily) sightings of a Trumpeter Swan in the Charcoal Creek area of Swanton between March 18th & 23rd. This report is intended more of a supplement to those sightings, as I'm relying on the knowledge of the swan being in the area to make this identification.

    During this time frame, thousands of mostly canada geese were seen in both the Charcoal Creek and Lake Champlain areas, and it appeared that many birds were going back and forth between the locales.

    This report was written from notes taken:Immediately After

    More Posts from VCE