Northeast Goose Finding Tactics


Swans

It wouldn’t be fair to ignore the larger, white cousins of geese – the swans. There are two regularly-occurring species, and one very rare species that is actually increasing rapidly throughout the Northeast.

Tundra Swan - note yellow note on bill, near lores (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Tundra Swan – note yellow note on bill, near lores (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Tundra Swan – This is the most common swan in natural areas, and is often found in flocks. They will also join goose flocks as well. These are medium-sized swans with chunky black bills, sometimes with a yellow patch near the lores. The forehead shape above their bill is rounded. Juveniles can have pinkish bills similar to juvenile Mute and Trumpeter. More info here.

Mute Swan (adult; photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Mute Swan (adult; photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Mute Swan – A very large, introduced swan species that can be found in small groups in natural areas and on urban ponds and lakes. They are showy, and have large orange bills. Their tails come to a point, whereas the other two swan species have rounded tails. More info here.

Trumpeter Swan (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Trumpeter Swan (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Trumpeter Swan – This is a rare species that could be found among either of the more likely swans; with Canada Geese; or even totally alone. Trumpeters are just slightly larger than Mute Swans, and have long black bills and a V-shaped forehead. Be sure to photograph any potential Trumpeter Swans, as there are very few records throughout the region! Some Trumpeters in the Northeast have plastic wing-tags from a study in OntarioMore info here.

Two Trumpeter Swans among Tundra Swans (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Two Trumpeter Swans (larger swans, with orange stain on head and neck) among Tundra Swans (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)