Tundra Swan Trax
The swan's location diary is located below the map.
Click on the map for a larger view.
January 8, 2004: Drum Point, Maryland. The swan has moved around the Chesapeake Bay area during the past week and in now located in the Maryland portion of the Bay near Drum Point. The swans appear to be moving around some on the wintering grounds possibly in response to the colder weather and some of the ice that's forming in some areas.
December 31, 2003: Mobjack Bay, Virginia. The swan returned to Virginia and is located in the Chesapeake Bay drainage in one of the creeks of Mobjack Bay. Tundra swans often use the protected coves around Mobjack Bay to feed on submerged grass beds.
December 1 - December 27, 2003: Phelps Lake, North Carolina. The swan returned to Phelps Lake, North Carolina, bypassing Virginia as she did during the winter of 2002-2003. Phelps Lake is located between Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds. This low-lying area of northeast North Carolina has a good mix of crop fields, marshes and open water areas for feeding and roosting. This area winters large numbers of waterfowl including a large portion of the Eastern Tundra Swan Population.
November 27, 2003: Lothian, Maryland. After returning to the Atlantic Coast, well north of her last year's wintering ground in North Carolina, she is moving down the Chesapeake Bay and now is south of Annapolis, Maryland.
November 18, 2003: Spesutie Island, Maryland. The swan has returned to the Chesapeake Bay, however, in Northern Maryland. Spesutie Island is in the northern portion of the Chesapeake Bay near Aberdeen, Maryland. This part of the Bay is sometimes referred to as the Susquehanna Flats and is a renowned wintering area for such species such as Canada geese and Canvasbacks.
November 9 - November 14 2003: Lake Erie. The swan has made its way to the Great Lakes stopping on the Ohio/ Ontario border on Lake Erie. This will be her last stop before returning to her wintering grounds on the Chesapeake Bay.
November 5, 2003: Southern Wisconsin. After leaving the prairies the swan is in south-central Wisconsin just northeast of Madison, Wisconsin near the Wisconsin River.
November 1, 2003: South-central North Dakota. This is the last of our three marked swans to cross the US/ Canada border. After staging near Saskatoon for a month she made a quick stop in North Dakota and is quickly moving across the prairies heading for the Great Lakes.
September 27 - October 27, 2003: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The next location we have for the swan is in south-central Saskatchewan near Saskatoon. She passed through the boreal forest quickly and has stopped in the Prairie Pothole Region of Canada. This area has a mixture of small wetlands and large agricultural fields. Here, her and her brood should be able to find foods high in energy and nutrients that will be needed to complete their long migration.
September 6 - September 19, 2003: Mackenzie River near Inuvik, Northwest Territories. After testing their wings, the swan and cygnets made their first long flight over the Richardson Mountains and have stopped in the Mackenzie River delta. This swan has stopped along the Mackenzie River each year on both ways of her migration. She is the first swan to depart from the nesting grounds, and she has the longest journey back to Virginia of any of our radio-collared swans.
May 30 - September 2, 2003: North Slope of Alaska near Prudhoe Bay. The swan has remained in the same location all summer, a good indication that she is nesting and raising a brood. She left the breeding grounds in the second week of September last year, so she may be getting ready to start her migration south.
May 18, 2003 - May 22, 2003: Mackenzie River, Northwest Territories. Similar to last year, this bird has stopped in the Mackenzie River. This will most likely be her last stop before crossing the Richardson Mountains and the Great Divide if she is going to return to the North Slope of Alaska where she nested last year.
May 13, 2003: Great Slave Lake, Northwest Territories. She has continued north to Great Slave Lake. From here she will follow the Mackenzie River north. Great Slave Lake is the origin of the Mackenzie River and is one of the largest lakes in northern Canada. She passed through this area last year, as have other swans that we marked during the past two years.
May 5, 2003: Baril Lake, Alberta near Lake Claire. After traveling nearly 500 miles, the swan has stopped in the northeast corner of Alberta. She stopped in this area on her spring migration last year around May 14, 2002. The timing of her migration appears to be slightly ahead of her pace from last year.
April 30, 2003: Star City, Saskatchewan. She is now in central Saskatchewan about 240 miles from her last location. She appears to be on a route similar to the one she took last year up to the western arctic.
April 26, 2003: Southwest Manitoba. The swan is on the fringe the Prairie Pothole Region near Dauphin Lake. This area is a transition zone between the Prairie Pothole Region (agriculture and small wetlands) and the boreal forest (coniferous forest and large lakes).
April 9 - April 22, 2003: Eastern North Dakota. The swan is reaching the midway point on its migration back to its breeding grounds in the artic. She will stage for a week or two in the Prairie Pothole Region before shifting her migration to the north. The Prairie Pothole Region is most noted as a breeding waterfowl area, but is also important as a staging area. During migration, swans consume a diet that includes vegetation (and small grains) that is high in energy content, and invertebrate foods (high in protein) that are very important in egg production. The rich wetlands of the Prairie Pothole Region are very productive during the springtime.
April 5, 2003: South-Central Minnesota. The swan is continuing westward through southern Minnesota heading for the Prairie Pothole Region.
March 27 - March 31, 2003: Minnesota-Wisconsin border. She has traveled west from the Great Lakes and stopped in the Mississippi River Valley near LaCrosse, Wisconsin. If she follows the path of other swans we've monitored, she should continue west toward the Red River Valley along the Dakota-Minnesota border.
March 19, 2003: Lake Erie near Harrow, Ontario. Lake Erie is one of the major stopover areas for swans in the Atlantic Flyway. It is the first major staging areas after leaving their wintering quarters. Swans make their way gradually across the Great Lakes Region feeding on aquatic vegetation and agricultural grains while waiting for winter weather to clear further north.
March 14, 2003: Pymatuning, Pennsylvania. The swan completed another 160 miles on its journey back north stopping near Pymatuning in northwestern Pennsylvania, just south of Lake Erie. Pymatuning is well known for the large numbers of Canada geese and other waterfowl that winter here or pass through during migration. A large reservoir (Pymatuning Reservoir) and surrounding agricultural areas provide important habitats for birds passing through this region.
March 14, 2003: Pymatuning, Pennsylvania. The swan completed another 160 miles on it Journey back north stopping near Pymatuning in northwestern Pennsylvania, just south of Lake Erie. Pymatuning is well-known for the large numbers of Canada geese and other waterfowl that winter here or pass through during migration. A large reservoir (Pymatunig Reservoir) and surrounding agricultural areas provide important habitats for birds passing through this region.
March 10, 2003: Junniata River near Huntington, Pennsylvania. After traveling 300 miles north, the swan made a stop in central Pennsylvania on Raystown Lake, a large Reservoir on the Juniata River. We have had other swans make brief stops in this area in the past.
March 6, 2003: Lake Drummond, Virginia. Lake Drummond is situated in the middle of Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in southeast Virginia. Many swans use this large lake as a roosting area at night and they often feed in agricultural fields in the surrounding area. Lake Drummond is also used as a roosting area by snow geese and a variety of duck species. The lake is only a short 50-mile flight north of where the swan wintered on Phelps Lake.
December 2, 2002 - March 1, 2003: Phelps Lake, North Carolina. The swan spent most of the winter in North Carolina near Lake Phelps, which is located between Albemarle and Pamilco Sounds. This low-lying area near the coast has a good mix of crop fields and open water areas for feeding and roosting. The area winters large numbers of waterfowl including a large portion of the Atlantic Flyway tundra swan population. There are several National Wildlife Refuges in this portion of North Carolina including Lake Mattamuskeet and Pungo refuges. This year's cold weather and ice conditions may have sent some swans farther south than last year. It will be interesting to see if this bird will stop during its spring migration at Pope's Creek, Virginia where it was banded last year.
December 1, 2002: Lake Mattamuskeet, North Carolina. She made a big jump, approximately 950 miles southeast, from the Mississippi River to Lake Mattamuskeet in Eastern North Carolina. Lake Mattamuskeet is a well-know wintering area for tundra swans with some of the largest concentrations of birds along the east coast. This swan was caught on Popes Creek in Northern Virginia on February 15 of 2002, and we expected it to come back to Virginia this winter. It's possible that this was a swan that we caught while on its migration north from Carolina last year. However, there may be some swans that move to different wintering areas from year to year. One of the objectives of this study is to assess site-fidelity, that is evaluate if birds go to the same locations each year. It will be interesting to monitor this bird's movements throughout the winter.
November 14 - 27, 2002: Goodview, Minnesota. She traveled 170 miles southeast out of the Prairie Pothole Region and has stopping along the Mississippi River near the southeast Minnesota-Wisconsin border.
November 2 - November 10, 2002: Lake Henry, Minnesota. The swan moved 45 miles to the southwest. She had staged in this area of central Minnesota during her spring migration.
October 28, 2002: Brennyville, Minnesota. The swan made a bigger jump and has moved 500 miles southeast and crossed into the United States. This puts her back on the track she took on her spring migration north. She is now located on the eastern fringed of the Prairie Pothole Region.
October 20, 2002: Weyburn, Saskatchewan. Still taking short flights through the prairies, she moved another 70 miles south and is now in southeast Saskatchewan, 50 miles north of the US-Canadian border.
October 16, 2002: Regina, Saskatchewan. The swan moved directly east 150 miles through south-central Saskatchewan. She may be taking short hops through the Prairie Pothole Region building energy reserves on her way south.