Swan 894 (updated: 02-09-2004)
The swan's location diary is located below the map.
Click on the map for a larger view.

January 19, 2004: Pomfret, Maryland near La Plata. Like swan #33888, this swan left Virginia and is now located in Maryland. With the onset of freezing temperatures many tidal creeks and river areas are frozen. This, combined with snow cover on the agricultural fields may be causing the swans to move further to find open water and available food sources.

December 29, 2003 - January 2, 2004: Potomac River, Virginia. The swan has moved up to the Potomac River and has been using the area between Quantico and Dahlgren. Several hundred to a thousand or more swans generally use this area, although there have been fewer swans in this area this year.

December 21-25, 2003: Rappahannock River. The swan moved around the river during the past week from between Fort AP Hill to Millswamp Creek. She appears to be using several different field and river areas for feeding and roosting.

December 13 - 21, 2003: Middle Peninsula near Occupacia, Virginia. The swan has returned to Virginia and is using the same field complexes on the Middle Peninsula that it used last year. This portion of the Rappahannock River between Tappahannock and Port Royal has large agricultural fields and rich creeks in which many swans often feed.

December 5 - December 9, 2003: WI Muskego- Big Muskego Lake near Milwaukee. Instead of using the marshes of the Great Lakes, the swan is staging on a large lake just southwest of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In her fall migration in 2002 she had done similarly, choosing to stopover on one of Wisconsin’s large natural lakes.

November 30, 2003: Lake Michigan near Milwaukee. With over three-fourths of her migration completed, the swan has made her way to the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes will be her last stopover area before returning the Atlantic Coast.

November 6 - November 21, 2003: Upper Mississippi River near the Iowa/Wisconsin/Minnesota Border. The swan has left the prairies behind and now is staging on the Upper Mississippi River. She is replenishing energy reserves in the large agriculture fields along the Mississippi River floodplain and resting on marshes and large reservoirs of the upper Mississippi River.

October 13 - November 2, 2003: Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota. After traveling another 220 miles southeast, the swan has crossed the Canadian border into the northwest corner of North Dakota near Fortuna. From here she will slowly move across the numerous wetlands and vast agricultural fields that characterize the Prairie Pothole Region.

October 4 – October 8, 2003: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Shifting its migration from its southerly course, the swan has moved 150 mile to the southeast as it begins its short hops across the Prairie Potholes.

September 30, 2003: Rutland, Manitoba along the Southeast Manitoba/Alberta Border. Continuing directly south, the swan made a big jump across the boreal forest, and traveled 1,100 miles into the Prairie Pothole Region. This is the second of our swans that has bypassed the boreal forest lakes during their fall migration. She left the nesting grounds a week later than the previous year and may be trying to make up time.

September 26, 2003: Coronation Gulf east of Kuglutuk, Nunavut. The swan and her cygnets have started their migration back to Virginia. The first leg was a 200-mile flight directly south of their nesting grounds to Coronation Gulf, located just above the artic circle. This is the last of our radio-collared swans to leave the nesting grounds.

June 3 – September 22, 2003: Prince Albert Sound, Victoria Island, Nunavut, Canada. The swan has spent the summer on Victoria Island. She should have nested and raised her brood to flight stage by now.

May 30, 2003: Prince Albert Sound, Victoria Island, Nunavut, Canada. She has completed the last 600-mile leg of her migration back to the arctic. Like our other swans, she has returned to nest at the same location as in the previous year (2002). We have also had other swans on Victoria Island; #33892 was found in this area before her radio quit functioning.

May 13, 2003 – May 26, 2003: Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. The swan has moved about 250 miles north to Great Slave Lake. This glaciated lake is also a major staging area for swans returning to their tundra nesting grounds. Great Slave lake is the largest lake in the Northwest Territories and one of the deepest in North America. This area also marks the transition zone between the boreal forest to the south and the tundra habitat to the north.

May 5, 2003 – May 9, 2003: Northwest Saskatchewan – Northeast Alberta. She has made a big jump traveling nearly 600 miles northwest to the south end of Lake Athabasca. This has been a common staging area for a number of our radio-equipped swans. This bird stopped here last year on May 21, 2002. Like swan #888, the timing of her migration appears to be about a week or more ahead of her migration from last year.

May 1, 2003: Southeast Saskatchewan near Algrove. The swan has moved another 250 miles northwest and crossed into the Canadian prairies. Still in the Prairie Pothole Region, the marshes of this area provide a smorgasbord of aquatic vegetation and invertebrate foods.

April 14, 2003 – April 27, 2003: Devil’s Lake, North Dakota. A large marsh complex situated in the heart of the “duck factory”, Devil’s Lake is important for both nesting and staging waterfowl. A number of state and federal wildlife refuges and management areas are located in this vicinity, an indication of the importance of this habitat to waterfowl.

April 2, 2003 – April 11, 2003: Minnesota – South Dakota – North Dakota Border. She is continuing to move west into the prairie pothole area. Many of our swans stop here along the Red River Valley in the fall to feed in the large agricultural fields. In the spring, swans stop in these nutrient rich wetlands to obtain energy for migration and protein and nutrient reserves for egg laying and nesting.

March 29, 2003: Saginaw Bay, Lake Huron. She has made a short hop to the west and stopped near Saginaw Bay, Michigan. Other radio-equipped swans have also stopped here on their northward migration. In her migration last year, however, this swan stopped on the eastern side of Lake Huron and did not appear to make a stop on the western side where she is currently located.

March 17, 2003 – March 25, 2003: Lake Erie. She was located on the south side of Lake Erie along the NY-PA border and then crossed over to the north side along the Ontario, Canada shoreline. The marshes and shallow water areas along the Great Lake are important to many species of waterfowl. Swans and diving ducks such as Canvasback and Scaup take advantage of the aquatic vegetation and invertebrate foods that can be found in these areas.

March 13, 2003: Near Erie, Pennsylvania and Lake Erie. This swan has moved 300 miles northwest to the south shore of Lake Erie, and is located near the New York/Pennsylvania border. One of our other radio-equipped swans is located just southwest of here near Pymatuning, PA, and another swan is located across Lake Erie from here at Long Point, Ontario. From here, this swan should shift its migration track westward to the Prairie Pothole Region.

March 13, 2003: Pope’s Creek - Northern Neck of Virginia. The swan was captured last year on this same creek. This year fewer swans wintered on Popes Creek; however, this area seems to be a staging area before swans start heading north.

March 3, 2003 – March 9, 2003: Middle Peninsula-Northern Neck of Virginia. The swan has returned to the Rappahannock River, near Occupacia Creek where she has spent much of this winter.

February 20, 2003: Cobb Island, Maryland. Our swan made a brief trip across the Potomac River to Maryland. There are small scatter flocks of tundra swans along Maryland’s Potomac River.

December 23, 2002 – February 19, 2003: Middle Peninsula-Northern Neck of Virginia. The swan is spending most of its time on the Rappahannock River between Tappahannock and Port Royal. However, she is also spending some time between Popes Creek, were she was captured, and Nomini Creek on the Northern Neck. Our radio telemetry work has shown that swans wintering in this part Virginia often move back and forth between the Potomac and Rappahannock River drainages. They use the large open-water rivers to roost, and feed in the agricultural fields on the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula.

December 13, 2002: Potomac Beach, Virginia. The swan traveled another 600 miles and has returned to Virginia. She should be near the end of her 3,000-mile long fall migration. She is located on Rosier Creek, a tributary of the Potomac River near Colonial Beach. This area generally winters around 60 swans each year.

November 2 - December 5, 2002: Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The swan has moved 70 miles directly west to Wind Lake, southwest of Milwaukee and about 20 miles west of Lake Michigan. This swan (similar to bird #33894) is also taking a more southerly migration track than she took on her migration north.

October 17 - October 29, 2002: South Central North Dakota near Jamestown. She has traveled 50 miles west into the heart of the Prairie Pothole Region. She appears to be making a slow gradual migration through this part of the country probably taking time to build up energy reserves prior to making the final leg of her migration.

  © 2004 VDGIF. Please view our privacy policy.
  Contact dgifweb@dgif.state.va.us with any comments or questions.