The swan's location diary is located below the map.
Click on the map for a larger view.
May 26, -
June 3, 2003: North Slope of Alaska Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.
The swan has traveled another 500 miles to return to the North
Slope where she spent the summer of 2002. It appears as though
she will nest here again this year. This area is a major
breeding area for waterfowl. It is also known as an oil
producing area and is where the Alaska pipeline originates. This
swan has traveled the farthest west of any swans marked in the
Atlantic Flyway Eastern Tundra Swan Project.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
2003: South-Central Minnesota. The swan is continuing
westward through southern Minnesota heading for the Prairie
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
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
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.
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.
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.
24- October 11, 2002: South Saskatchewan River near
Swift Current Saskatchewan. The swan moved a long way,
nearly 1,600 miles, from her last stop on the Mackenzie River
Delta to her current location in the South Saskatchewan River
Valley. She is about 120 miles north of the Saskatchewan-Montana
border and is further west than she was on her spring migration
north. This area of the Prairie Pothole Region is a mixture of
small wetlands and small grain agriculture fields. This area
should provide the food resources needed for her (and her family
group) to continue their long migration back to Virginia.
7 - 16, 2002: MacKenzie River Delta, Yukon Territory
Canada. She moved 400 miles southeast to the MacKenzie River
Delta in Yukon Territory, Canada. She stopped in this area back
in May on her migration north to Alaska. Swan #33887 is also
presently in the MacKenzie River area only about 80 miles to the
northeast of this swan.
June 12 -
September 3, 2002: North Shore of Alaska. She stayed
in the Prudhoe Bay area of Alaska all summer, a good sign that
she nested and is probably raising a brood. She is the first of
our radioed swans to start moving south, perhaps because she was
the furthest away.
May 31 –
June 12: North Shore of Alaska. Rather than staying on
the MacKenzie River Delta, this swan has moved 450 miles further
west to the Prudhoe Bay area of Alaska. This area is also a major
breeding area for waterfowl. In addition, it is well known as a
big oil producing area and is where the Alaska pipeline
originates. This swan has probably reached the end of its
migration and will probably stay and nest in this location.
2002: Northwest Territories. The next good location we
obtained on this swan is 950 miles further northwest on the
MacKenzie River Delta in arctic Canada. She is located just east
of Fort McPherson. The MacKenzie River Delta is a major breeding
area for swans, other waterfowl including ducks and geese, and a
number of shorebird species.
2002: Northeastern Alberta. Between May 9 and May 14
she moved 450 miles and is now located on the west end of Lake
Athabasca, near Fort Chipewyan and Wood Buffalo National Park.
(Swan #33887 is following a route similar to this bird and stopped
here on Lake Athabasca on May 23, shortly after this birds moved
Central Saskatchewan. She moved another 150 miles northwest
and is now located near the town of Shellbrook in Central
Saskatchewan. Shellbrook is at the northern end of the Prairie
Pothole Region and where the Aspen Parkland Region begins. This
area has larger, more permanent water bodies and fewer temporary
wetlands. Small grain agriculture is still predominant on the
landscape, however, shrub and forest areas are also present.
2002: Eastern Saskatchewan. Between April 18 and April
26 she made a couple short moves from southern Manitoba into
southeastern Saskatchewan. She is now located about 200 miles
northwest of Lake Manitoba, just east of the Quill Lakes in
2002: Lake Manitoba, Manitoba. She moved 110 miles
northwest and stopped briefly at the southern end of Lake
Manitoba, not far from Delta Marsh, an area well known for its
waterfowling tradition. Another radioed swan (#33887) was in this
area but moved out just a couple days ago.
2002: Canadian Border. She has moved north 200 miles
and is located at the junction of the North
Dakota–Minnesota-Canada border near Pembina, North Dakota.
March 23 -
April 9, 2002: Western Minnesota. The swan has moved
another 775 miles to the west and stopped in the eastern portion
of the Prairie Pothole Region. The swan is located near the Swan
and Chippewa Rivers near the North Dakota-Minnesota border. This
area lies in the eastern Red River drainage where large numbers of
swans stop on the northward migration. This area is not only
important as a migration stopover, but is also a critical breeding
area for many species of waterfowl.
- March 6, 2002: Lake Erie, Ontario. The swan left its
winter quarters in Virginia sometime between February 22-26 and
moved 350 miles northwest to the area around Long Point, Ontario,
on the north side of Lake Erie. The marshes around Long Point are
a traditional and important stopover areas for swans and other
waterfowl. Birds will generally spend a week or two here feeding
heavily to rebuild nutrient reserves for the next leg of the
migration. A number of our satellite radioed swans (#33892,
22894), and several from other states cooperating in this study,
have stopped here this year.
- 22: Potomac River, Virginia. The swan has remained in
the Popes Creek area near the place it was captured, feeding in
shallow tidal-water flats and roosting on the open water.
2002: Popes Creek, Virginia. This swan was caught near
George Washington’s Birthplace National Monument in Westmoreland
County. The creek is wide and shallow, and swans can tip-up to
feed in its extensive mud flats. Over 600 tundra swans were using
this small inlet off the Potomac River this winter, including
several neck-collared swans that we captured last year on the
Rappahannock River. We put satellite radios on three other swans
that used Popes creek this winter (#33892, 33893, 33894 - see
below). It will be interesting to see if they go to the same area,
or to different areas, to breed.