Archive for January, 2010

REPORTING MARKED TRUMPETER SWANS – COLLARS, WING-TAGS & BANDS

January 26, 2010
Ontario’s Beverly Kingdon & Kyna Intini Mark Trumpeter Swans

If you are reporting a sighting from ONTARIO, CANADA, please email us directly at trumpeterswan@live.com as this blog is not monitored regularly.

We are receiving reports of Trumpeter Swans wearing neck collars and wing tags this winter as part of our Citizen Science effort, Trumpeter Watch. Reports of all Trumpeter Swans in states near or south of the 40th parallel will help us better understand the winter distribution of expanding Midwest populations. The program runs through May 1, when we will begin tallying all data gathered and making it available on our website and to wildlife managers throughout the pertinent flyways.

Reports of marked swans are particularly valuable as we can trace the origin of that bird and learn its age and family history. Often swans are seen at a distance but that extra effort to read numbers on the collar or wing tag can be of great value. Here are tips on how to correctly read and report marked birds.

Describe the type of marker: Collars are commonly used in the United States and throughout North America. Wing tags, as well as collars, are commonly used in Canada.

State the color: Red, green and yellow collars are most often used for Trumpeter Swans, while gray, black and blue collars are most often used for Tundra Swans. Trumpeters are most frequently marked in their summering areas and correct reading of the code is usually needed to determine their origin.  For Tundras, gray collars are used for wintering Atlantic Flyway birds, black is for birds marked on migration routes and blue is for birds marked in Arctic breeding areas.

Record the unique Letter (L) / Number (N) combination: Trumpeters have three characters with one letter (LNN, NLN, NNL). Tundras have 4 character combinations with the letter first (LNNN) – or 3 character combinations with two letters (LLN, LNL, NLL).  There may be a few Trumpeters remaining from the old banding protocol that have yellow or black collars with 4 character combinations of LLNN. Mute swans have white collars only, with 4 character LLNN. There are white, two character collars permitted in Utah for both Trumpeter and Tundra Swans.

Note the color of the letter/number code: It will be either black or white.

All marked swans should be reported to the USGS Bird Banding Lab. The Bird Banding Lab has an easy online form (http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/BBL/homepage/recwobnd.cfm). for you to report a marked bird. The silver leg band can rarely be read on a live bird but can provide valuable information when a dead bird is found.

When a collar or wing tag is detected, careful description of the marker (with a backup photo if possible) is important.

The marker information is needed in addition to carefully describing the date, location, number and age (adult = white feathers, cygnet = gray feathers) of other marked or unmarked swans in the group. Notes on behavior are appreciated as well. Be sure to note your name and contact data. An observation form (LINK) is available on our website in the TRUMPETER WATCH section.

If you send a copy of your sightings report to us at The Trumpeter Swan Society, we may be able to quickly get information to the biologist most familiar with that group of swans. As the biologist has time, we often learn that bird’s history and can pass that information back to the reporting observer.

Here are guidelines (updated May 2010 to add all North American populations) to consider when identifying ‘your’ marked Trumpeter’s place of marking:

GREEN COLLARS:

Green collars with white codes #A# = Minnesota’s Three Rivers Park (formerly Hennepin Co. Parks) – marked this way through 1997: Minnesota and Oklahoma. Additionally, a few of this series were transferred for use in Alaska.

Green collar with vertical white #A# = Minnesota and Oklahoma

Green collars with white codes ##E = Michigan

Green collars with white codes #F#, F## #P#, #V# = Iowa, Minnesota & Missouri by Iowa DNR

Green collars with white codes ##K, ##T, ##U = Wisconsin

Green collars with white codes M## and #M#, ##M = Ohio

Green collars with white codes #P# = Iowa, of special interest as these were Trumpeters released in Arkansas as part of a migration experiment

Green collars with white codes R## = Nebraska

Green collars with white codes S## = South Dakota

Green collars with white codes A##, E##, H##, J##, N##, P##,V##, #J#, J##, #P#, P##, and V  =Montana, Idaho, Nevada (through Red Rock Lakes NWR)

Green collars with white codes Θ## = Oregon

Green collars with white codes ##E, #E# = Idaho

Green collars with codes #K# = Wyoming

Green collars with white codes #V#, ##V, X##, #X#, ##X, #H#, ##H, #N#, ##N = Grays Lake Idaho for Idaho, Utah and Sublette County, WY, and V## coordinated with Red Rock Lakes NWR

Green collars with codes K##, N## = British Columbia

Green collars with white codes ##F = Alaska

Green with white codes ##A, ##C = Alaska, Cordova

Green collars with white codes E## = Idaho, Oregon, Utah (through Gray’s Lake NWR)

Green collars with codes Θ## (Letter Θ is horizontal, numbers vertical) = Oregon

Green collars with white codes R## = Nebraska (through LaCreek NWR)

Green collars with white codes S## = South Dakota (through LaCreek NWR)

Green collars with white codes L##, Y## = Wyoming (the latter with LaCreek NWR)

Green collars with 4 digit white codes A#### 2002 and earlier in Washington

Green collars with 4 digit white codes ##FA, ##RA, ##RC, ##TY = Nebraska, South Dakota ad Wyoming (through LaCreek NWR) – 1997 and previous

 RED COLLARS

Red collars with white codes H##, J##, P##, #C#, #H#, #K#, #M#, #T#, #U#, all with matching tarsal bands = Iowa, Minnesota and Missouri

Red collars with white codes ##K = Michigan

Red collars with white codes M## (from M68-M99), F## and #F# = Washington

Red collars with white codes #P#, #A# = Montana

Red collars with codes C## = Idaho

Red and white collars with white codes A##, #A# = Alberta

Red collars with M##, A## = British Columbia

Red collars with white codes #R# = Alaska, Fairbanks

Red collars with white codes T##, #T# = Montana, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes

Red collars with white codes V## = Idaho, Oregon, Utah (through Gray’s Lake  NWR)

Red collars with E##, L##, R##, Y##, same code leg bands only on most birds = South Dakota and Nebraska (through LaCreek NWR)

 YELLOW COLLARS

Yellow collars with black codes E,X,T,H,P,Z followed by ##, or the letter A,C,J,K,U,Y,E,F,N,P, preceded by ## = Wisconsin

Yellow collars with black codes #A# or #C#, #E#, #K#, #M# = Ohio

Yellow collars with white codes U## = Idaho (through Red Rock Lakes NWR)

Yellow collars with black codes C## = Utah, and Nevada

Yellow collars with black codes M## = Washington

Yellow collars with black codes ##R, ##T, Y##, #Y# = Idaho

Yellow collars with black codes F## = Wyoming

Yellow collars with black codes R##, L## with matching leg bands = Maryland, New York and Virginia

Yellow collars with black codes #M#, ##M = Idaho, Oregon, Utah (through Gray’s Lake NWR)

Yellow collars with black codes A##, C##, J##, K##, may have radios attached = Idaho, Grays Lake coordinating with Utah

BLUE COLLARS

Blue collars with 4 digit, white codes ## UK = Alaska (Yukon-Koyukuk and Northwest Arctic)

Blue collars with white codes ## EA, HC, JL, PN and UJ = Alaska

WHITE COLLARS

White collars with 2 character black codes numbers and the letters: A,C,E,J,K,M,P,T,U,V,Z. are used in UTAH for both Tundra and Trumpeter Swans.

White collars with no codes = Yukon Territory, for transmitter attachment.

White with black codes Z### to be used on three species of captive swans in MD, NJ, NY, PA ad VA with no service bands. 

NOTE: A number of four-digit code collars were permitted 1995 and previous and they are not included in this summary. Brown (Washington) and Orange (British Columbia) were additional collar colors.

ANODIZED COLOR LEG BANDS

Colored leg bands (Gold, Green, Red) have been used in Idaho (through Gray’s Lake NWR)

 PLASTIC LEG BANDS

Yellow with black ### codes = Ontario

Yellow, exactly matching neck collar = Wisconsin and Ohio

Yellow with black codes #F# = Wyoming

Yellow with black codes L##, R## matching collars = Maryland, New York and Virginia.

Green, no codes = Wyoming

Green with white codes M##, #M# and ##M = Ohio

Green with white codes #A#, T## = Minnesota (and Oklahoma) through Three Rivers Park District (formerly Hennepin Co. Parks).

Green with white codes #P#, #V#, F##, #F# = Iowa

Green with white codes Θ## = Oregon

Green with white codes ##F, C## = Alaska

Green with white codes K## = Yukon

Green tarsus bands matching neck collar = Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming (through LaCreek NWR)

Red with white codes F27-F29 = Montana

Red with white codes A##, #A# = Alberta

Red matching neck collar = Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming (through LaCreek NWR)

Red with white codes matching collars = Montana, Iowa (for several states)

Blue with white 4 digit codes = Alaska

Plastic Leg Bands with four digit codes were issued 1997 and previous, these are not summarized here.

WING TAGS

Green tags with black code T## = Minnesota’s Three River Parks 1997-present

Green tags with black code ### (3 numbers) = Michigan (marked in 1998 or before)

Orange tags with black code ### (3 numbers) = Minnesota’s DNR

Yellow tags with black code ### (3 numbers) or a letter followed by two numbers = Ontario

Updated May 2010 ►    www.trumpeterswansociety.org   Find us on Facebook    

 

LEAD and TRUMPETER SWANS

January 22, 2010

TTSS urges the rapid end to the use of this toxic substance in all hunting, other shooting activities, and fishing and conversion to the use of alternative nontoxic substances.
— TTSS Board of Directors, April 20, 2008

Trumpeter Swan Preening by Beverly Kingdon, Ontario

Martha Jordan, a TTSS Board Member from Washington, has posted some detailed and sobering news about lead poisoning in Trumpeter Swans on our website. She notes some progress has been made in the last decade, but emphasizes that we face numerous challenges ahead if we are to alleviate the threat of this toxin. The first part of the article details strategies being used to cope with lead problems in Washington State. The second part gives excellent background material on causes of lead poisoning, symptoms of lead poisoning, and the real facts on lead shot vs. nontoxic ammunition. She provides a clear-cut list on what you can do to help, outlines existing regulations, and recommends links to other websites for further detail. We applaud Martha for putting this information together for all of us. Since 1999, lead shot has killed over 2,300 wintering swans in Washington and British Columbia. TTSS has been working hard with the Canadian Wildlife Service, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, other nonprofit organizations, and concerned citizens to find the source of the lead shot, so that it can be cleaned up.