Meet the Trumpeter Swan Society’s Admin. Assistant: Madeleine Linck

Madeleine Link at Three Rivers Park on a Winter Day

Madeleine Link at Three Rivers Park on a Winter Day

Madeleine has two part time jobs: one as wildlife technician for Minnesota’s Three Rivers Park District and one as administrative assistant for TTSS. This pairing has a long tradition. In the late 1960’s wildlife managers at the Three Rivers Park District pioneered restoration of rare Trumpeter Swans to their former range in east-central Minnesota. Biologists wanting to pool their knowledge to influence the return the majestic Trumpeter Swan to more of its former range founded TTSS at a meeting at Three Rivers Park District (formerly Hennepin Parks) in 1968 and Three Rivers Park District has been a strong supporting partner ever since.

Madeleine moved to Minnesota from her native Massachusetts in 1985. She has a Masters Degree in biology and for completion of this degree worked on the nesting ecology of the Blanding’s Turtle, a threatened species throughout most of its range. In addition to her conservation interests, Madeleine has been an avid birder since college.  When hired at the Park District in 1990, she took on as part of her job monitoring the Park District’s restored population of Trumpeter Swans. In 2008, the Park District hosted 15 nesting pairs of trumpeters.  Madeleine feels very fortunate to have witnessed cygnets first 24 hours of life, their first swim and their rapid growth towards flight stage.

Since the Park District provided support services to TTSS, Madeleine became involved in the day-to-day activities of TTSS: helping to keep the TTSS main office up and running, responding to inquiries from the public, assisting in the updating of the TTSS website and publications and participating in the biennial conferences. A favorite part of her job is getting to know — either over the web or in person — all the wonderful people so dedicated to this species throughout North America.


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6 Responses to “Meet the Trumpeter Swan Society’s Admin. Assistant: Madeleine Linck”

  1. Christina Says:

    Is there a place to report swan tags? THank you

    • trumpeterswansociety Says:

      Your sighting is valuable information and I do encourage you to report it! The first step is to report any band number, neck collar or other auxiliary marking such as a wing tag (called Patagial tags) to the USGS Bird Banding Lab. They have a great website describing the types of markers, how to read them and what species carry them. On their website site you will find a report form and contact email, phone and fax to make it easy to send in the report. That link is

      Be sure to read the sequence of numbers/letters as correctly as you can (though partial data may still be helpful) and note COLOR OF THE LETTERS as well as color of the collar or tag. Colors currently in use with swans are mainly RED, GREEN and YELLOW with white or black characters (a combination of letters and numbers). Most collars have three characters, some original ones have four. Wing tags may be a variety of colors and style, hopefully made so they are easy to read. Collars are typically placed on Trumpeter Swans of populations being restored and the researchers using tags will know each individual. Researchers are often licensed bird banders and they use markers under permit with the USGS bird banding lab (and often a state permit as well). The Banding Lab will report back to the researcher, though this may take time as they process many records and species.

      Along with reporting to the USGS, if you would send a copy of your sighting to The Trumpeter Swan Society at we can often notify the restoration program chairman fairly quickly and that person, often the biologist can contact you back with any questions or further information.

      To reach the Bird Banding Lab you can send an email to, or you can call your report in to 1-800-327-BANDT (please do not use this number if you have live Canada Goose observations or several birds to report!), or FAX it to 301-497-5717 (use this for shorebirds, peregrine sightings etc. where the position of the flags or codes may be easier to draw. As I mentioned there is also a Report Form easy to complete on the link for the Bird Banding lab provided above. If you will copy TTSS with your email, report or FAX, we can help you make contact with the person who is managing that population. This is a very valuable contribution to their efforts. Thanks for asking!
      Peg Abbott, Outreach Coordinator, TTSS

  2. Penny Ridley Says:

    What is the maximum height of the trumpeters flight? I’m displaying a work of art that states that these birds can fly 25,000 feet above sea level. I need to be sure that I’m not passing along erroneous material.Thank you , Penny Ridley

    • trumpeterswansociety Says:

      Hi Penny,
      I spoke with biologist Ruth Shea, Director-at-Large at TTSS. She says that 27,000 feet would be a MAXIMUM height. She also suggests a good reference for this type of data which is The Atlas of Bird Migration: Tracking the Great Journeys of the World’s Birds, by Jonathan Elphick. Good luck with your show. The Trumpeter Swan Society participates in the Artists for Conservation program and we’d love to have your support. Details can be found at
      Peg Abbott, Outreach Coordinator

  3. Libby Morreale Says:

    Today, Jan 1, 2010 I saw a Trumpeter Swan in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. This beautiful bird had a yellow tag on both sides that said E30 plus a band on one leg. I’m not sure where to send notification of this sighting. Would you be able to assist.

  4. Dominic Sherony Says:

    I am trying to find out if the state of Minnesota, or any other public institution, is still providing winter food for Trumpeter Swans in the state or are they surviving annually on their own?

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