Posts Tagged ‘Waterfowl’

The Trumpeter Swan Society Urges Action: 200 Groups Object to Lead-poisoning Provision in Sportsmen’s Bill

December 3, 2012

https://i0.wp.com/www.trumpeterswansociety.org/images/swan-information.jpg

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/294/632/199/stop-lead-poisoning-legislation/

Every signature counts, please pass this on!

In late November, 2012, The Trumpeter Swan Society (TTSS) joined more than 200 citizen groups in objecting to a provision in the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 (Senate Bill 3525) that would create an exemption under federal toxics law to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from evaluating or regulating lead poisoning of wildlife and humans from hunting or fishing activities.

A wide array of public-interest organizations called on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to allow debate on the lead-poisoning exemption. Such debate has never occurred in Congress despite the serious environmental and public-health problems caused by spent lead ammunition and lost lead fishing weights and the availability of nontoxic alternatives to lead. The organizations support an amendment by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) to block the exemption and study the human-health and environmental effects of lead poisoning from lead in ammunition and fishing sinkers.

“It’s outrageous that the Senate can’t find 10 minutes to allow any debate before voting to prevent our federal environmental agency from regulating, or even evaluating, a deadly toxic substance that we know is killing bald eagles and other wildlife — a toxin that causes neurological damage to humans and hinders mental development in children,” said William Snape, senior counsel with the Center for Biological Diversity. “There are good reasons we got toxic lead out of gasoline and home paints. The irony of this bill, preventing any regulation of lead used in hunting ammunition or fishing weights, is that it will harm hunters and anglers.”

The Sportsmen’s Act, which could be voted on as early as today, would create an exemption under the Toxic Substances Control Act to block the EPA from ever regulating toxic lead used in hunting ammunition and fishing sinkers or even evaluating the impacts of lead from these sources. The bill also contains an exemption that would allow imports of threatened polar bear parts from Canada despite the Endangered Species Act’s prohibition against such trade.

“Why would the Senate bow to the National Rifle Association’s anti-science views on lead poisoning and pass a special-interest legal exemption to promote further lead poisoning?” said Snape. “The amendment offered by Senator Boxer would actually establish a moratorium on any regulation of lead in ammunition or fishing sinkers until federal health and environment agencies prepare an objective study that all Americans could trust.”

Toxic lead entering the food chain from spent hunting ammunition and lost or discarded fishing sinkers poisons and kills bald eagles, endangered condors, loons, swans and more than 130 other species of wildlife. Hunters risk lead poisoning from ingesting lead fragments and residues in game shot with lead ammunition. Recent studies and scientific reports show elevated blood lead levels in hunters eating lead-infected meat, as well as dangerous lead contamination of venison donations to low-income food banks.

The Boxer amendment is reprinted below in its entirety.

Boxer Amendment to the Sportsmen’s Act:

SA 2902. Mrs. BOXER submitted an amendment intended to be proposed to amendment SA 2875 proposed by Mr. REID (for Mr. TESTER) to the bill S. 3525, to protect and enhance opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing, and shooting, and for other purposes; which was ordered to lie on the table; as follows:

Strike section 121 and insert the following:

SEC. 121. NO REGULATION OF AMMUNITION OR FISHING TACKLE PENDING STUDY OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS.

(a) No Regulation of Ammunition or Fishing Tackle.–The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency shall not issue any proposed or final rule or guidance to regulate any chemical substance or mixture in ammunition or fishing tackle under the Toxic Substances Control Act (15 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.) during the period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act and ending on the date of the publication of the study required by subsection (b).

(b) Study of Potential Human Health and Environmental Effects.—

(1) IN GENERAL.–Not later than December 31, 2014, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Secretary of the Interior shall jointly prepare and publish a study that describes the potential threats to human health (including to pregnant women, children, and other vulnerable populations) and to the environment from the use of—

(A) lead and toxic substances in ammunition and fishing tackle; and

(B) commercially available and less toxic alternatives to lead and toxic substances in ammunition and fishing tackle.

(2) USE.–The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency shall use, as appropriate, the findings of the report required by paragraph (1) when considering any potential future decision related to a chemical substance or mixture when the substance or mixture is used in ammunition or fishing tackle.

This text is from a public press release issued by the Center for Biological Diversity, a group coordinating the effort on this vital issue. The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 450,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places. For quick and immediate action, you can sign a petition online at

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/294/632/199/stop-lead-poisoning-legislation/

Every signature counts, please pass this on!

 

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The Trumpeter Swan Society and Trumpeters Say Goodbye to a Great Friend, Joe Johnson

November 2, 2012

Joe Johnson at TTSS’s 22nd Conference, Polson, MT

On October 9, 2012, the Society lost Director and friend Joe Johnson. W. C. “Joe” Johnson wrote and implemented the restoration plan for Trumpeter Swans for Michigan and served as the State’s Trumpeter Swan restoration coordinator. He led the very successful effort to restore the magnificent Trumpeter to part of its historical nesting range after over a century.The native of Kalamazoo was best known for his waterfowl and wetland expertise, but his interests and experience were much broader. Joe was an avid hunter and served on the National Board of Directors of Pheasants Forever for 16 years. He was elected to the Board of Directors of The Trumpeter Swan Society in 2003 and was an active member and TTSS Conference participant for many years prior to that. Since 1987, he has been the Chair of the Mississippi Flyway Council’s Swan Committee, continuing to serve even in retirement. At the time of his swan song, he was leading the Flyway Council’s effort to revise the management plan for Trumpeters.

Joe worked at Michigan State University’s W. K. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary for 48 years. He retired in 2007 after being the sanctuary’s Manager since 1985. In addition to his excellent work with swans, he was instrumental in the successful return of Giant Canada Geese to Michigan.

Joe spent his last days at Rose Arbor Hospice Center that is surrounded by a natural space with ponds frequented by flocks of Canada geese. As Joe’s family left Rose Arbor all of the geese took flight hours earlier than their normal routine to escort Joe to the his next Sanctuary. We will sorely miss his friendship and good counsel. We will have to search for someone else to keep us in line according to Robert’s Rules of Order. He was truly one of kind!

When he retired the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary established the Joe Johnson Endowment Fund for Wildlife Conservation Fellowship. This fund provides support for students who want to study and work with wildlife conservation and habitat preservation or restoration at the Sanctuary. The Directors and staff of TTSS are going to make a contribution to the fund to honor Joe for his outstanding contributions to swan conservation and his leadership in TTSS. We invite you to do the same.

You may contribute to the Joe Johnson Endowment Fund for Wildlife Conservation Fellowship online.

The Trumpeter Swan Society July 2012 Photograph of the Month

July 11, 2012

Trumpeter Swan Family © Tammy Wolfe

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

Tammy’s capture of the Trumpeter Swan pair with their three cygnets on the nest shows the how the use of a long lens, while factoring in subdued lighting produces a well exposed photograph.  Finding the nest early on, watching how the pen and cob interact and setting up on the appropriate day shows how planning can create the desired effects.

This nest was on private property and Tammy had the opportunity to watch the nest being constructed and the subsequent laying of five eggs.  Not that all swan nests are on private property, but photographing nests on public property is subject to disturbance from other folks out recreating.  Having access to private property allows you to practice ethical photography without having to worry about those outside disturbances.

A number of photographs we have reviewed have a consistent theme when photographing swans – fog/overcast conditions diffusing the light and minimize contrast between the white birds and darker areas/shadows of the scene.  Tammy utilized light, overcast conditions to remove these potential challenges and to take the photograph under optimal conditions.

Take a closer look at the lighting.  All of the swans are exposed with lighting from the front, not overhead.  If the lighting were overhead, the underside of the breast of the bird on the left would be darker than the rest of the bird.  So it was a photograph taken late in the day.  This is where knowing your subject, the setting and then planning your photograph gives you the right results.

Most very good wildlife photographers use a long lens when photographing wildlife.  You can get frame-filling shots as in Tammy’s photo, and you can control the focus of the background.  In this setting Tammy also used her lens to stay far enough away to prevent any disturbance to the birds, the ethical path to an outstanding photograph!

The Life History Moment

Tammy had been monitoring the nest long enough to note that the eggs had hatched two days prior.  The young were still using the nest two days subsequent to hatching AND that now both parent were now on the nest.

During incubation the pen does all the brooding, while the cob does not take part in this activity.  Even when the pen leaves for preening, feeding or any other reason, the nest is protected by the cob, but he does not incubate or shade the eggs.  So having both adults on the nest at the same is an unusual occurrence!

Featured Photographer for July, 2012 – Tammy Wolfe, State of Minnesota

Tammy and one of her photographs were featured in this column in May, 2010.  So here is an update of her background since that time.

From Tammy:  Nature Photographer

I have collaborated on a children’s story about Trumpeter Swans with Mary Lundeberg. Right now the book (Spirit of the Swan) is only available as an ebook on Kindle. However, we are currently working with an editor and small publishing company and hope to have the print version available later this year.

Another accomplishment as a photographer is that one of my owl images was selected for the October 2010 cover of Your Big Backyard magazine, a National Wildlife Federation publication, and a greeting card company purchased one of my Trumpeter Swan images to use as a greeting card.

Since May 2010 I have traveled to Alaska, Arizona, Montana, Hawaii, South Dakota, North Dakota, Texas, Wyoming, Colorado, and Florida to photograph mammals and birds, but my favorite subject to photograph is in my home state of Minnesota and next door in Wisconsin is the Trumpeter Swan.

See and find out more about Tammy’s photographs at:http://twolfephotos.smugmug.com

About the Photo:

From Tammy: When I first started to photograph the swans several years ago, I mostly photographed them where they overwintered in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Nowadays I am thrilled to be able to photograph them year round. This spring I had two amazing opportunities to photograph nesting swans on private property. Both pairs ended up with five eggs hatching, and I was happy to be present at both sites when some of the eggs hatched. I hope to continue watching and photographing the cygnets as they grow up.

Photographing Trumpeter Swans in the late spring and summer can be difficult on sunny days because the light is harsh, and the birds are white.  The image was captured at a Minnesota site a few hours before sunset when the light is less harsh. The cygnets were two days old when the image was made. I used my 500 mm lens with a 1.4x teleconverter so that I could photograph from a safe distance but still get frame-filling images.

We are pleased that Tammy was willing to share this “keeper” shot in support of Trumpeter Swans and The Trumpeter Swan Society.

The Trumpeter Swan Society Receives Major Grant from the Yellowstone to Yukon Consevation Initiative for Work in Montana’s Centennial Valley

May 26, 2012

Trumpeters in Centennial Valley by Jess Lee

The Trumpeter Swan Society is most grateful to the (Y2Y) Partner Grants Program for supporting our efforts to protect to swan habitat in Montana’s Centennial Valley.  Y2Y recently announced their grant of $4,500 to support our Centennial Valley Cooperative Wetland Conservation Project. The Centennial Valley, including Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, contains the single-most important nesting and molting habitat for Greater Yellowstone’s fragile Trumpeter Swan nesting flock.

Preventing damage to these habitats and where possible improving their quality is a top priority for TTSS.  Some of these wetlands also provide important habitat for Grayling, which might be listed as threatened or endangered in the near future.  Without great care, there is potential for some actions that would benefit Grayling to damage important swan habitats. In addition, at some sites water delivery problems and increasing human disturbance jeopardize swan nesting success.

Working closely with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, State of Montana, and other conservation partners, we will be working to develop a model program to minimize damage to swan habitat from fish conservation efforts and seek ways to improve swan habitat where possible. We will also be working with private landowners and public land managers to improve water levels and reduce disturbance of swans in historic habitats.

Trumpeter Pair in the Centennial Valley by Jess Lee http://www.jessleephotos.com

The Trumpeter Swan Society May 2012 Photograph of the Month

May 11, 2012

Dawn on the Madison: Trumpeter Swan , Cygnus buccinator© by Jeff Wendorff

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

Jeff’s image of the Trumpeter Swan on the Yellowstone’s Madison River shows the importance of positioning yourself to get the optimum chance for a great photograph and the timing to accentuate different colors during that “sweet” light of early morning or late afternoon.  And having led many tours to Yellowstone myself, Jeff’s shot just exemplifies the knowledge of how to get a “natural moment” shot.

I know all of us have been to parks where a wildlife sighting is cause for most everyone to rush to the subject and click away.  And there are times (mating, dominance etc.) where it is appropriate to subtly and safely approach your subject and try to capture the moment.

But in the world of wildlife photography, you usually get your best shots by planning your time in the field (early morning when wildlife is beginning daytime activities or early evening when nocturnal wildlife start to forage) and also knowing the habits of your subject.

Jeff took the time to get into the field at dawn prior to sunrise.  Without having done that, the pink pastel reflection on the water would have been long gone and not even be a possibility for inclusion in the photograph.  We have all seen how rapidly a sky (and its reflected color) can disappear or change.

Most very good wildlife photographers know that it is usually best to let the wildlife come to you.  You will get a more relaxed pose from the subject, and you will see actions that are natural and not necessarily based on the animal’s response to your presence.  For me, this is the number one rule to follow to get the “natural moment” photograph!

Jeff also used a long lens which brought the foreground reflection and water into focus along with the swan.  Notice how the background fades into “nothingness”, thereby not taking away from the focal point of the photograph.

An obvious personal decision of the photographer is always where to put your subject in the photograph?  We have discussed the rule of thirds in the past regarding placement of your subject as Jeff has followed.  But Jeff’s decision on whether to include the reflection or not is a personal one.

If Jeff had decided to crop the reflection out of the photo, there still would be a partial reflection – and that might appear “awkward”.  To make your own decision, hold you hand away from your face and towards Jeff’s picture on the monitor.  Now move you hand up and down to see the different compositions with the reflection, without and partial.  As I did this, it made me very aware that Jeff’s decision to include the complete reflection was the most appealing to my perspective.

Jeff saw the opportunity of the swan moving down river and used his capabilities as a photographer to position himself to capture an outstanding swan photograph with the sky reflecting on the water!

The Life History Moment

A movement that could only be captured in a burst of photographs or a movie would show that Trumpeter Swan heads are not static when they are on the water.  Jeff’s shot shows just one position of the bird he was photographing – extended.

“Trumpeter Swans frequently bob their head and necks up and down (head bobbing). With this motion they also have a variety of vocalizations. This combined activity apparently serves as a form of communication between individuals and within the group. Head bobbing and vocalization activity increase when the birds are disturbed and reaches maximum intensity just prior to the birds taking flight. This behavior may be brief or absent if the birds are suddenly startled and take flight.”

Featured Photographer for May, 2012 – Jeff Wendorff, State of Louisiana

From Jeff:  Nature Photographer, Workshop Leader, Writer

I’ve been a professional photographer for almost 10 years and my focus is on the natural world. I have a particular passion for photographing birds, but am very opportunistic and when a moment presents itself, I try to capture it. That was particularly true with this Trumpeter Swan image.

Jeff’s work has been widely published from books and magazines to cans of cat food in China. He leads photography workshops throughout the year focusing on birds and nature photography. Jeff lives in New Orleans and is finishing his first book, Photographing New Orleans, to be published this fall.

You can read about all of his antics, workshops and photography at http://www.jeffwendorff.com.

About the Photo:

From Jeff:  It was taken in Yellowstone last winter and we were there primarily for the big game in winter. On our way in to the park along the Madison, we came upon a lone swan swimming in the river. We were able to move ahead and pull off of the road and get our gear ready for the swans arrival. It was one of those magical moments, when the subject came in to range and the sunlight cast a perfect pink glow of the dawn on the swan and the Madison River.

We are pleased that Jeff was willing to share this “keeper” shot in support of Trumpeter Swans and The Trumpeter Swan Society.

The Trumpeter Swan Society February 2012 Photograph of the Month

February 10, 2012

"Angelic" Trumpeter Swan by Mike Lentz

NEW FEATURE ADDED TO PHOTO-OF-THE-MONTH

SEE BELOW!!!

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

Mike’s image of the Trumpeter Swan flapping its wings early on a misty morning provides us the prospect of how to use misty weather to enhance a photograph.

Mike titles this “Angelic” and the ethereal feeling the mist adds to the picture has something to do with that title.  First thing we notice beyond the swan is the bokeh (we discussed how to accomplish this in an earlier version of Photo-of-the-Month), that muted blue and white area in the background without any focus.  The focal length of Mike’s lens adds to this, but the mist coming off of the river also softens the background and allows, actually makes the viewer focus on the bird.

The effect of the mist on the swan is subtle, but really does add to the photo!  First, notice that the eye and the rust on the head are tack sharp in focus, not being affected by the mist!  This draws the viewer to the bird and makes the initial contact.

The next aspect that your eye wanders to is the flight feathers or primaries on the wings.  The feather shafts are all visible, the feather edges are almost crisp but not blurred and while the secondaries become a little muted.  But when you look at the body feathers they are really muted without defined focus.

All of the above can happen with the focus of the lens, but I think it is the mist that makes these features so “angelic”.  And the reason for that is that the head and the breast/body feathers are on the same focal plane – or the same distance from Mike and his lens.  So the breast should have the same focus detail as the head and eyes – it doesn’t!

Mike saw the opportunity with mist rising from the river and used his capabilities as a photographer to create an outstanding photograph!

The Life History Moment

There are a few reasons we see swans (and other waterfowl) rise up and flap their wings without taking flight.  One could be that the swan had just finished preening and flapping the wings allows any “ruffled” feathers to fall in place.  There is also the opportunity to shake any water from the feathers, whether from foraging, droplets from the mist or as Mike describes below, it just finished a short bath.  There is also the thought out there that wing flapping shows dominance (perceived or otherwise?) relevant to other swans in the area.  Any other thoughts out there as to why swans might do this?

Featured Photographer for February, 2012 – Mike Lentz, State of Minnesota

Mike specializes in nature photography and nature photo instruction.  The world of natural history has always been a love of his, as is photography, and combining the two only seemed fitting.  You can find Mike’s images on:

www.mikelentzphotography.com

www.pbase.com/mike_lentz

About the Photo:

From Mike: “I was on the Mississippi River laying on the shoreline with many Trumpeters.  I spent most of my time concentrating my efforts on the individual birds.  This was a very cold day, it was -18 when I got out of my car and when I walked down to my spot and saw all the steam I knew the chance to capture a special image was possible.  In this moment the swan had just dipped in the water multiple times and was just opening up to do a flap his/her wings. “

We are pleased that Mike was willing to share this “keeper” shot in support of Trumpeter Swans and The Trumpeter Swan Society. 

The Trumpeter Swan Society January 2012 Photograph of the Month

January 15, 2012

Trumpeter Swan with Fish by Larry Jernigan

NEW FEATURE ADDED TO PHOTO-OF-THE-MONTH

SEE BELOW!!!

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

Larry’s image of this hatching year Trumpeter Swan with a fish in its bill gives us an opportunity to talk about close-up photography or cropping a photograph to create a close-up appearance.  It also kicks off the theme of our 2012 Photo-of-the-Month selections – The Natural History Moment!

This is a wonderfully crisp shot!   There is plenty of detail in the feathers, the bill and the eye is tack sharp.  To create a photograph with these attributes, you have three primary options as a photographer:  You can be physically close; you can be further away with a longer lens or you can closely crop (like drawing a box around the area you want to feature in your photograph and removing the extraneous material) the photograph after shooting with any size lens.

I see one, possibly two of the elements I mentioned above in Larry’s photograph: A longer lens and potentially some cropping.  One of the benefits of using a longer lens (in this case maybe 100mm – 400mm zoom) is that you usually have a very short depth-of-field (DOF is the area from front to back that is in focus).  We can see the DOF (in focus) drops in the water behind the second swan, which indicates a longer lens.

The potential cropping is indicated is by the position of the bird in the overall photograph (centered).  Cropping is the photographer’s choice and in this photograph Larry has put the subject (the fish in the swan’s bill) he was trying to capture in the appropriate alignment.

And it is the fish that brings us to a new feature in the Photo-of –the-Month:

The Life History Moment (our NEW theme for 2012)

Most swans, but especially the Trumpeter Swan, forage on vegetation that grows on terrestrial habits and underwater in the water column (hence their long necks for getting to vegetation that dabbling ducks and geese can’t reach).  There may be incidences  of where a swan swallows invertebrates of fish trapped in the vegetation, but it is uncommon to find a fish in a swan’s bill as a matter of purpose.  In other words, swans do not normally seek out and pursue fish as a prey item.  This juvenile swan’s behavior, caught in a series of shots by Larry, is quite a capture!  His reflections of the moment:

How it all happened!

On January 20, 2011, while at work as a 4-H Assistant Coordinator for the University of Arkansas, I spent the greater part of the day meeting with fourth and fifth grade classes from Heber Springs Elementary School at Magness Lake. The purpose of the outing was to introduce the young students to the one hundred or more Trumpeter Swans that had arrived from places north of us. As always when visiting the swans, I brought my camera and set it up on a tripod just in case of a chance of a good photo presented itself. The students were listening as I told them various facts about our visitors. As I talked with the students I noticed that one of the juvenile swans had something in its beak and seemed to be “chewing” on it. I took a quick look through my camera and saw that the swan had a fish about four inches long, a shad, in its mouth and was trying to swallow it. It was having trouble because the fish seemed to be too large. This went on for about five or six minutes until it had chewed it enough that the fish could be swallowed. The students not only had the opportunity to see the swans but also something that I have never seen or heard of before. They witnessed a swan eating a fish. In watching these swans over the past twelve years I have never observed anything like this before.

Editor’s note: in the photo below, see how the Trumpeter Swan gets a grip with the lamellae of its bill!

Featured Photographer for January, 2012 – Larry Jernigan, Arkansas

http://www.LarryJernigan.com

About Larry Jernigan:

From Larry:  “ I was born in Tennessee and moved to Arkansas in the 7th grade, received a B.A. Degree in biology at Arkansas College. I did graduate work at the University of Oklahoma where I was fortunate enough to study under the internationally-known ornithologist George M. Sutton. I was drafted into the army before I could finish my Master’s degree. While in the army I did medical photography during the time I was stationed in Japan. When I left the army I taught school for three years before opening a photography studio and running it for ten years. At the age of forty I went back to school and got a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. I came back to my home town, Pine Bluff, Arkansas, where I had a chiropractic practice for twenty years. In 2000 my wife and I decided to build our retirement home in Heber Springs, Arkansas. We moved here in July of 2000 and I commuted back to Pine Bluff until 2005 when I retired from my practice. I began some part time work with the U. of A. as 4-H Assistant Coordinator working with the youth of Cleburne County. I have had an obsession with photography ever since I began taking pictures in undergraduate school 50 years ago.”

We are pleased that Larry was willing to share this “keeper” shot in support of Trumpeter Swans and The Trumpeter Swan Society. 

Distinguished U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Retiree Dr. Robert (Bob) Blohm Joins The Trumpeter Swan Society Board of Directors

January 4, 2012

Our newest Director is Dr. Robert Blohm who retired early this year after a distinguished career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Bob Blohm has had a longstanding interest in waterfowl and waterfowl ecology after growing up along Saginaw Bay in the State of Michigan.  He graduated from Michigan State University with a B.S. Degree in Fisheries and Wildlife in 1968.  He then began his graduate work at the University of Wisconsin, Department of Wildlife Ecology, where he received his M.S. Degree in 1977 and Ph.D. Degree in 1979, studying the breeding ecology of the Gadwall in southern Manitoba under Dr. Robert A. McCabe.  His field work was conducted through the auspices of the Delta Waterfowl Research Station. His graduate studies were interrupted by military service, where he served as an artillery officer in Alaska and Vietnam.  Following graduate work, he was hired by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a staff biologist in the Office of Migratory Bird Management, in Laurel, Maryland.  Bob remained in the Office (now Division) of Migratory Bird Management for his entire career, where he became Chief of the Division in 2007.  He retired on December 31, 2010, after working nearly 32 years in the field of migratory bird management.  Bob and his wife, Shari, have two sons, Andy and Matt, now grown.  The entire Blohm family continues to enjoy a wide variety of outdoor pursuits.

The Trumpeter Swan Society November 2011 Photograph of the Month

November 12, 2011

Trumpeter Swan 7H2 Family by David Hoffman

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

David’s image of this Trumpeter Swan family (and the cob with an easily identifiable neck collar band) brings up a challenge all photographers face, do you do post-processing and if so, how much?

This is a wonderful shot!   The pool of water holds the family together, as the pen and cob create “bookends” of protection for the cygnets.  The consistency of the green vegetated background just adds to the formation of the “family” setting.  It appears it was an overcast day as there are no hard shadows and that adds to the fine detail in bird’s feathers.

Given the shape and size of pixels (as opposed to film grain), there is one step in post processing that should be considered, and that is a slight sharpening of the focus of the photo.  It is just an intrinsic part of digital photography.  Beyond that, altering the photograph with additional processing is up to the photographer.

One individual might want to remove the grass seed stalk in front of the cygnets so there is no distraction, while another views the stalk with no inherent thought of distraction.  Still another photographer might want to remove the neck collar band to lend a more natural setting to the cob.  All of these can be achieved by using post-processing software (Adobe Photoshop or Elements, ArcSoft Photo Studio, Apple iLife etc.)

But in the end it is the photographer’s decision and for this photograph David said: “I would kind of prefer to have swan 7H2 with collar showing, mainly to encourage people to report marked swans and promote TTSS Trumpeter watch.”

And with every photo there is always the story of the photographer, and as David explains below, he had a very personal involvement with one of the adult birds.  And it is that involvement that gives it a personal touch and a story to share beyond the photograph.

Featured Photographer for October, 2011 – David Hoffman, State of Iowa

David Hoffman is a wildlife research technician with the Iowa DNR.  He has been involved with the Iowa DNR’s Trumpeter Swan Restoration Program since 1995.

David had provided this link to report any Trumpeter Swan sightings in the State of Iowa.  http://www.iowadnr.gov/Education/IowasWildlife/TrumpeterSwanReporting.aspx

About the Photo:

From David: “Trumpeter 7H2 is male hatched at Steve Nelson’s farm pond near Cherokee, IA in June 2004.  His mother died shortly after his hatch.  I cared for 7H2 and his siblings at my house for ~a week in 2004.  Del Huebner of Clinton, IA cared for him till Sept. 2004.  He spent the winter of 2004 at Laurie & Tony Severe’s Pond near Nora Springs, IA. and flew from their pond the following summer.

The female is originally out of THE LIVINGSTON RIPLEY 
WATERFOWL SANCTUARY (Litchfield CT) http://www.lrws.org/ and she was hatched in ~1984.  She nested from 1994-2003 at Von Maur Clothing Corp. office in Davenport.  She also nested at the Lemke Funeral Home pond at Clinton, IA.  She has only hatched successfully ~3 times since 1994, no more than 2-3 cygnets at one time.

This pair is the first wild nesting pair in Winneshiek County Iowa since the late 1880’s!!!  I heard the news that this pair had hatched cygnets. I stopped by to visit with the landowner (Langreck) and answer any questions about the Trumpeters and their care.  I had my camera with, and was able to snap a few quick shots.

We are pleased that David was willing to share this “keeper” shot in support of Trumpeter Swans and The Trumpeter Swan Society.

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

September 27, 2011

DAVID MYERS

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!