Trumpeter Swans at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Alice Van Zoeren 2006
The swans were reared by the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary and were picked up and delivered by a Biologist with the Little River Band. Lakeshore staff and volunteers have been tracking their survival, and the big birds appear to be doing well in their new habitat. If the swans imprint on their new location, they may return to breed year after year.
Trumpeter swans were once plentiful throughout the Midwest, but as wetlands were drained for agriculture, and the birds were hunted for meat and feathers, their population dwindled. By 1885, the Michigan trumpeters were gone, and by 1933, there were only 66 within the entire continental United States. In the 1980s, Michigan began to carry out a reintroduction plan, and by 2005, there were 728 trumpeter swans in the state, with nearly a third of them at Seney National Wildlife Refuge. With its many protected inland lakes and wetlands, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore could become a haven for this beautiful bird.