Trumpeter Swan  ( Cygne trompette )      This species is of special interest to Timiskaming birders.    All sightings should be documented and reported.

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Cygnus buccinator

Description:    Trumpeter Swan pair, one with wing band number 988
Photo Date:   May 12, 2008


Kirkland Lake


Larry Ferguson

General Notes

(Text provided by Kyna Intini,, as posted to ONTBIRDS)

Originally native to Ontario, Trumpeter swans were extirpated from eastern Canada over 200 years ago, primarily due to hunting pressure and habitat loss.  The last known observation of a wild Trumpeter in Ontario was in 1886, when a hunter at Long Point on Lake Erie shot the last known trumpeter swan.

Biologist Harry Lumsden began a provincial reintroduction program in the early 1980's to re-establish the Trumpeter swan in its former habitat and range.  Today, as a result of an intensive reintroduction and conservation effort, there are about 1000+ wild Trumpeter Swans in Ontario.  Along with the reintroduction, swans must breed in the wild to maintain a sustainable population.  The wild population in Ontario seems to be growing at a rate of about 8% per year. There is a continued effort to identify where pairs are nesting.  Birds are banded and tagged during winter months so biologists can keep track of the number of wild birds in Ontario.  Some birds you observe may have yellow wing tags and metal leg bands.  The wing tags make it easier to identify the bird from a distance.  Write down the number if you can see it.

Wetland areas are are the preferred nesting habitat.  They frequently construct their nests on old beaver and muskrat houses, but will also build on emergent vegetation, either floating or anchored to the bottom.  Pairs often begin to build or repair their nest even before a site is completely free of ice.  Most nests are used year after year, usually by the same pair.

Here is a website to help identify the swans:

Abundance: Rare Earliest observed date:  

Typical arrival date:

April 10
Breeding Status: Unknown - presumed breeding Latest observed date:  

Typical departure date:

October 22

Documented Observations



April 10, 1999. One observed in Casey Township by Barry Kinch.

May 12, 2008. A pair observed and photographed in Kirkland Lake by Larry Ferguson and many other observers.
  One was wing tagged with tag number 988, tagged at LaSalle Park in Burlington.  The pair was present for about three weeks. Photos on file.

August 21, 2008. A pair observed and photographed in Cobalt by Robin Boyer. One, a male, was wing tagged with tag number A32, banded as a cygnet by Beverly Kingdon in February 2008 at LaSalle Park Marina in Burlington.  The pair was reportedly present in Cobalt for over a month. Photos on file.

October 20, 2008. A pair was photographed on Long Lake with five cygnets. One of the adults was wing tagged as E17.  The cygnets later arrived in Burlington on October 29 with their parents. All of these cygnets were banded in the fall of 2008 with numbers E35, E36, E37, E38 & E39. The cygnets are all females.  The adult E17 is also the parent of A32, reported above.