We were treated to an interesting treat today, which is much appreciated. Amy from Oscoda spotted a swan paddling along the shoreline. The swan was dodging the ice along the beach along Lake Huron. She sent us these pictures and asked to confirm if they were of a Tundra Swan. Tundra swan sightings are fairly common along Saginaw Bay during migration, but this is January.
After consulting some of our reference books, we started to have doubts about it being a Tundra. Once identifying factor is a bit of yellow or orange at the base of the beak. These shots showed an all-black beak. We started to favor this majestic big bird as a Trumpeter swan, which is slightly bigger and has an all-black beak.
Then we noted something else we didn’t consider. Tundra swans have a slightly U-shaped beak-line between the eye and the beak base, which this ice swimming swan seems to have. In the end, we are not too sure. So we are conducting a little informal poll. Tundra or Trumpeter? Leave your vote in the comments below.
Trumpeter, Mute or Tundra Identification
If you have a neat wildlife or site in the Upper Thumb or Saginaw Bay area that you would like to share feel free to send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org