Archive for September, 2011

Trumpeter Swan Nest Survey Counts Reach Record High in 2011

September 28, 2011

Nesting Trumpeter Swan photo by Alan Sachanowski

A Recent Note from biologist and TTSS Board Member Sumner Matteson in Madison, Wisconsin:

In case folks inquire, we had a new record Wisconsin high of 192 nesting pairs of Trumpeter Swans in 23 counties.  Approximately 45 percent of nesting pairs occurred in two counties:  Polk and Burnett in northwestern Wisconsin.  In 2010, there were 176 nesting pairs in 24 counties, and in 2009, the former nesting peak was reached at 183 in 23 counties.  So, we continue our upward trend, but who’s counting?  This was our 25th year of the Trumpeter Swan Recovery Program, which has come a long way since our returning Board member, Becky Abel, helped with cross-fostering back in 1988 and then started her Master’s work on decoy-rearing in 1989. 

We fly the next few weeks to get a good handle on cygnet survival to fledging.  This summer, we again marked 100 cygnets during our roundups, thanks to the support of scores of volunteers, including about 20 interns from the International Crane Foundation in central Wisconsin.  Pat Manthey continues to coordinate field activities in northern Wisconsin, while I handle duties in central Wisconsin.  I concluded my fund-raising activities for the swan program, and we have sufficient funds for one more season of field work.  This will complete my post-delisting obligation to the state’s Natural Resources Board for annual monitoring of nesting swans.  Pat and I will have a 2-day retreat later this fall to chart a new course for the Department of Natural Resources for future swan monitoring, and I suspect that after next year, coordinated, statewide surveys of Trumpeters will likely occur once every 10 years.  

From Peg Abbott, Outreach Coordinator of TTSS:  Fascinating footage of recent capture and banding efforts can been seen on two YouTube videos, one from the perspective of a kayak paddler and another from land. I can tell you the kayak paddlers got a workout! 

Video one is from a kayak during the chase:

Video two is from the shore overlooking the efforts of the capture:

The Trumpeter Swan Society Welcomes New Board Member – David Myers, Idaho Falls, Idaho

September 27, 2011


David Myers brings significant business and financial experience to our Board along with a passion for the outdoors and Trumpeter Swans.  Raised in Oregon, he has lived in Idaho Falls, Idaho, for over a decade.  Dave has a degree in accounting and experience as a CPA.  He is currently the CEO of 34 Papa Murphy’s Take and Bake Pizza franchises in Idaho, Iowa, and Tennessee.  A U.S. Coast Guard veteran, Dave received the 2007 “Brightest Star Award” from the Governor of Idaho for developing a family support program for deployed National Guard troops.  He is an avid outdoorsman, with fly fishing and white-water boat guiding experience.  Dave is dedicated to helping the Society take swan conservation to a new level, particularly in Idaho.  We are very fortunate to have him join the Board.  And hey, check out the fish!

Lynn Lovett, The Trumpeter Swan Society Administrative Assistant

September 17, 2011
Lynn Lovett at work on Trumpeter Swan Quilt to benefit TTSS at our upcoming Conference & Silent Auction

My interest in Trumpeter Swans started in 1998.  My kids were in 1st & 2nd grade so I had time to get out of the house while they were at school and do some volunteer work.  I enjoy the outdoors so I attended the volunteer orientation program at Hennepin Parks, now Three Rivers Park District in Minnesota.  My first opportunity to help out was office assistance in Natural Resources – Wildlife Department. That work was helping with The Trumpeter Swan Society, working with Madeleine Linck & Larry Gillette.

After a few months I was hired as an employee.  My duties consist of keeping our membership database updated, banking, mailing merchandise and preparing the Trumpetings newsletter for mailing.  Occasionally, I have been able to tag along in the field which is my favorite part of my job.  How many other people have the opportunity to hold a Trumpeter Swan?!!  Madeleine & Larry have been great to work with and have taught me much about swans and other wildlife.  My work is minor compared to that of the biologists who have devoted their expertise and time to Trumpeter Swans but I still feel proud when I see how much the swan population has grown in my area.  By taking care of the details in the office I am giving the biologists time to concentrate on their work so we can all enjoy the beauty of the swans. 

Now the kids are in college, my husband & I just got a Golden Doodle puppy to liven up our empty nest, I have second job as bookkeeper for a gymnastics club and I still love working for The Trumpeter Swan Society.  My favorite pastime is quilting and I’m busy finishing a quilt that will be auctioned at the 22nd Trumpeter Swan Society Conference in Montana next month, October 10-14, 2011.

The Trumpeter Swan Society September 2011 Photograph of the Month

September 10, 2011

Trumpeter Swan in Flight by Richard Eyre

Professional Photographer and TTSS Photo-of-the-Month host Greg Smith says:

Richard’s image of the Trumpeter Swan in flight shows that having slightly less focused aspects of the subject can bring out the highlights you want to accentuate in your photograph.

The soft focus on the wings helps in at least three ways: They push the viewer’s field of vision towards the head and the eye of the swan.  The soft focus also helps transition the bird into the warm, subtle tones of the background.  And the third point is that it gives a feeling of action and movement to the swan.

We have gone back and forth over lighting issues on a white-colored subject.  There are pros to bright, sunny days as the basis for the photograph and there are different positive aspects for photographs taken on warm, overcast days.

What I enthusiastically appreciate about this photograph is the muted tones of the water in the background.  There is no harsh blue contrasting with the softness of the swan, just an overall feeling of serenity in the lighting and the composition.

All of this points to Richard’s capabilities in creating an outstanding photograph!

Featured Photographer for September, 2011 – Richard Eyre, Wisconsin

Richard Eyre is a Northern Wisconsin based photographer specializing in unique, expressive landscapes and scenic images.  His prints feature vivid colors and artistic composition to create captivating visions of the world.

Rick has spent years exploring and photographing many diverse landscapes though-out the United States and around the globe.

His web site is

About the Photo:

This swan was photographed along the Mississippi river in Minnesota last winter, on one of the coldest days of the year.

We are pleased that Richard was willing to share this “keeper” shot in support of Trumpeter Swans

TTSS Welcomes Back Board Member, Mary Maj

September 6, 2011

Mary Maj, TTSS Board Member

MARY MAJ, returning Board Member (1999-2005)  

Mary Maj works as the Eastern Regional Wildlife Biologist for the US Forest Service (USFS) out ofMilwaukee,Wisconsin. She recently transferred from the Gardiner Ranger District of Gallatin National Forest inMontana. Since 1975, she has held positions around the Greater Yellowstone area and in the Northern Regional Office as district and regional wildlife biologist, natural resource staff officer, resource assistant, and district ranger. Her interest in landscape conservation was realized as the stewardship director for the Teton Regional Land Trust, and further developed as the Executive Coordinator of the Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee, a multiagency (US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, USFS) cooperative of managers working on shared resource challenges and opportunities.  Mary holds a BS and Master’s Degree in Fish and Wildlife Management fromMontanaStateUniversity.