escaped captive Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator), Wigwam Golf Resort, Litchfield Park, Maricopa County
This Trumpeter Swan was reported to the AZFO
sightings database by someone who only left a first name. Mark Stevenson
called attention to this report and Gary Nunn was the first to confirm the
bird's presence on 20 December 2010. The bird is on a private golf course
and only visible from the road with a scope. Jack Holloway received
special permission from the course managers to photograph the bird and was
accompanied onto the course by course employees. He took these photographs
on 21 December 2010. According to personnel at the course, the bird has
been present for about a month. It is also reported to be extremely tame
and to allow approach within 10 feet.
Trumpter Swan is accidental in Arizona with only three previous records. However, because of on going and aggressive re-introduction programs in North America, sightings in Arizona may be expected to increase.
Provenance is always an issue with rare waterfowl. This bird is banded, but only with a color band, not with a federal metal band. In addition, this band color is not listed among those used on wild Trumpeter Swans by the Trumpeter Swan Society (here), although the three digit code is consistent with the marking of Trumpeters. However, this bird's band is not listed in any federal database and there is no record of a wild trumpeter being banded this way. Most likely this is a captive bred bird that has a private breeder's band on it. Its extreme tameness is also consistent with this conclusion.
The best characters for adult Trumpeter Swan visible in these photographs are
the wide black skin connecting the bill and the eye and the V-shaped white
feathers on the forehead. Adult Tundra Swans have a narrow connection
between bill and eye and a U-shaped forehead. Nearly all adult Tundra
Swans have a yellow spot on the skin in front of the eye which this bird clearly
lacks. All Trumpeter Swans have a red border on the lower mandible, but
this is occasionally present on Tundra as well.
21 December 2010, photo by Jack HollowayAll photos are copyrighted© by photographer
Submitted on 21 December 2010