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Where do Trumpeter swans spend the winter?

I learned this week that a Trumpeter swan has about 35,000 feathers and 2.5 centimetres of down. That's how Trumpeter swans get through the winter — even the severe temperatures and heavy snowfall we have had this winter.

Where they spend the winter is another question, and Ontario Trumpeter Swan Restoration, an organization started in 1982 to restore the majestic birds to their former range, would like anyone who sees a Trumpeter swan to help with the answer.

Please report the sighting by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or the Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre website —, or on the Facebook group page Ontario Trumpeter Swans. Please include the date, location (GPS co-ordinates), wing tag number or leg band number.

Ontario Trumpeter Swan Restoration was initiated by retired Ministry of Natural Resources biologist Harry Lumsden. He began a captive breeding program that has since released 584 captive-reared swans in 54 locations around Ontario. There are now an estimated 800 to 1,000 birds in the province.

The Ontario Trumpeter Swan Restoration says if swans need to maintain a diet of natural wild forage. If you do feed them, provide clean, "untreated" dry corn — not bread.

Anglers are asked to help in swan restoration by using lead-free tackle so swans do not ingest a lead sinker while feeding, and by retrieving any lost lures so these are not accidentally ingested by swans and other wildlife.

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