Great Rivers Trumpeter Watch

Brian Hartwig

Trumpeter Swans and Riverlands
Trumpeter Swans were nearly extirpated in the early 1900s due to hunting pressures, but over the past few decades populations have started to increase thanks to recovery efforts by many people and agencies. Missouri observers have recorded the highest number of Trumpeter Swans wintering in states south of the 40th parallel with sightings in 45 of 115 counties. Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary (RMBS) along the Mississippi River in St. Charles County, is the single most important wintering site of the southern states with counts of 500+ in the past few years.

Citizen Science Monitoring Project
Starting in November 2011, The Trumpeter Swan Society partnered with The Audubon Center at RiverlandsU.S. Army Corps of Engineers Rivers Project OfficeSt. Louis Audubon Society, and the Audubon Society of Missouri to begin a citizen science monitoring program for Trumpeter Swans in the Great Rivers region. During our second year of monitoring, the project has gathered bi-monthly data on overwintering swans in the Great Rivers Confluence from November 13, 2011 to February 3, 2015. Monitoring is essential to the recovery of the largest waterfowl species in North America because it provides crucial data on how many Trumpeter Swans use our area in the winter, the age composition of flocks, and where some of these individuals travel each year. Over a number of years this data will also be valuable to land managers, because it can help them better understand the habitat conditions that are important to the Trumpeter Swans overwintering here.

The Trumpeter Swan Society

Check out the great work that The Trumpeter Swan Society has been involved with since the late 1960s, and learn what you can do if you see a Trumpeter Swan that has a neck collar or leg banded. Birds and other wildlife species may be marked or banded by conservation agencies to learn more about dispersal and migration, behavior and social structure, life-span and survival, reproductive success, and population growth. The data collected by citizens and biologists can provide valuable data for wildlife management, and lead to the better understanding of a particular wildlife species. The USGS Bird Banding Lab has a simple form to fill out if a banded or marked bird is sighted.  

If you are interested in submitting Trumpeter Swan observations, please use the form attached below. 

Downloadable Resources