A few days ago, birders near New Bethlehem, PA discovered a wing-tagged immature Trumpeter Swan associating with some Mute Swans and Canada Geese along the Redbank Creek. Looking at the map, this swan was right on the way to the Armstrong County Snowy Owl, so my friends and I knew it would make a great afternoon chase. We left State College and arrived at the location of the swan at 4:15pm. We were fortunate enough to be able to observe the swan at fairly close range for 45 minutes as it loafed on the bank of the creek, swam around, and put Canada Geese in their place.
Like I mentioned earlier, this individual is not only leg-banded but also has two wing-tags which read ‘J53’. This bird is likely part of the reintroduction program in Ontario. The swan really wanted to make sure we saw that it was special – for about 10 minutes total we watched the bird stand with its right leg outstretched, showing off its band. Being able to study this swan up-close was fantastic – especially since it is a species we rarely see migrate through PA. Hopefully the bird sticks around for others to enjoy for a few more days.