• Trumpeter Swan

    Common NameTrumpeter Swan
    Scientific NameCygnus buccinator
    Type of ReportRare Species
    Date of Observation04/19/2021
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    • Other Documentation of Observation
    Number Observed2
    Reporting Observer's NameTom Hargy
    Mailing Address318 OVERLAKE DR
    FAIRFAX, Vermont 05454-5487
    United States
    Map It
    EmailEmail hidden; Javascript is required.
    Date Completed04/20/2021
    Latitude of Observation44.967600
    Longitude of Observation-73.202081
    Place NameMississquoi NWR
    Vermont eBird Checklist URLebird.org
    Time of Day08:18 AM
    Length of Time Observed25 min
    Maximum Estimated Distance from Bird (in feet)550
    Minimum Estimated Distance from Bird (in feet)500
    Noteworthy Weather Conditions

    Clear. Birds were west of me, so low sun behind me created excellent lighting.

    Optical Equipment Used for Observation

    Vortex Diamond Back 8x binocs, Vortex Razor HD 11-33X scope

    Observer’s Previous Acquaintance With This or Similar Species

    Observed this species in September 2020, Tundra Swan in November 2020, January 2021.

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

    At wood's edge in flooded field that was an emergent vegetation-like habitat.

    Behaviors Observed

    Pair was swimming together, occasionally dipping heads under water to feed.

    Description of Vocalizations

    Several single-syllable trumpet calls were heard over the time of observation. Deep sounding - a bit trombone-like.

    Verbal Narrative & Description of Observation

    Birds were present in the water when I first arrived, progressing from north end of field toward the south. They casually went about swimming and feeding. A few Northern Shovelers were in the vicinity. Two other birders joined me; they indicated they worked for USFWS and were familiar with the swans, and we watched for 10 minutes. They heard the vocalization that I heard, and agreed it confirmed the birds to be Trumpeters. The other birders left (and so far have not posted this sighting); eventually the swans ran on the water until taking flight to the south. When walking about in grass, they had appeared quite massive.

    Relative Size & Shape

    Very large swans. I would estimate their length, bill to tail, to be well over 4 feet. Two photos show a shoveler nearby. While observing, the swans appeared to be at least 4 times as large as the shovelers.


    Crown and cheeks had a gray smudging, and possibly a slight brownish tint. Nape and neck also had some gray. Throat was white.

    Feet & Bill

    Long, striking bill was black. Boarder with forehead was not straight across, but V shaped. No yellow was observed on bill. Feet were black.

    Upper Back

    Back was white, possibly with some sooty smudging. Strong light washes this out in photos.

    Lower Back & Rump

    White back and rump.


    Long wings observed when the birds took flight, but did not observe any particular characteristic.

    Breast, Belly, Flanks, Under Tail Coverts



    Did not note any particular characteristic.

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

    Particular attention was paid to the bill, which was quite long, sharp, black, with no yellow in lores. Forehead v'd down into upper boarder of bill. The call was trumpet or maybe trombone- or french horn-like in tone.

    Other Notes & Comments

    No age or sex determination made.

    This report was written from notes taken:Written from Memory

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