• Trumpeter Swan

    Common NameTrumpeter Swan
    Scientific NameCygnus buccinator
    Type of ReportRare Species
    Date of Observation03/31/2018
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    Number Observed1
    Reporting Observer's NameRich Kelley
    Mailing Address17 Hog Island Rd
    Swanton, Vermont 05488
    United States
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    EmailEmail hidden; Javascript is required.
    Date Completed04/16/2018
    Names & Emails of Other Contributing Observers

    A number of other reports, but I was alone

    Latitude of Observation44.569881
    Longitude of Observation-73.176651
    Place NameMallett's Creek
    Vermont eBird Checklist URLebird.org
    Time of Day05:00 PM
    Length of Time ObservedTwo sightings, almost 2 hours apart
    Maximum Estimated Distance from Bird (in feet)700
    Minimum Estimated Distance from Bird (in feet)400
    Noteworthy Weather Conditions

    Nice day, bright, clear and calm

    Optical Equipment Used for Observation

    8x42 binos, 500mm DSLR lens

    Observer’s Previous Acquaintance With This or Similar Species

    Previous sightings in Swanton, Alburgh and Rutland over the past year

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

    Mallett's Creek is a small, slow-moving creek that runs into Lake Champlain's Mallett's Bay. Depending on the water level, there are pools / marsh along the creek. Swan was seen in one of those pools, east side of the interstate.

    Behaviors Observed

    Swimming calmly

    Description of Vocalizations


    Verbal Narrative & Description of Observation

    First observed while traveling south on Interstate 89, which would be the far lane from where swan was swimming, unable to get a very clear look at that point. After running errand and returning on the northbound (closer) lane, I was able to get a reasonably good look at the swimming swan. Head and bill visible, with V-shaped forehead, wide lores and no orange/yellow or red visible.

    Rust staining on head was similar to that seen on swan in Swanton about 2 weeks prior.

    Relative Size & Shape

    No other birds around to compare to, other than a pair of wood ducks, but a substantial sized bird.


    Solid black bill, lores extending to eyes without narrowing, V-shape at top of bill visible. Neck held fairly vertical while swimming.

    Feet & Bill

    Not visible

    Upper Back

    Solid white

    Lower Back & Rump

    Solid white


    Solid white

    Breast, Belly, Flanks, Under Tail Coverts

    Solid white


    Solid white, fairly short

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

    Tundra swan ruled out due to lack of yellow on bills and wide lores, solid black bill ruled out mute swan.

    Other Notes & Comments

    First sighting was at 5:03pm, headed south, better look was while traveling northbound at 6:54pm. Without a boat, the only reasonable vantage point for this pond is from the interstate, and I only stopped long enough to take a quick look at the head/bill and grab a couple of quick photos. A half-dozen or so other sightings / reports from the area also confirmed ID.

    This report was written from notes taken:Immediately After

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