(Click on the photo for a larger image)
A Trumpeter Swan was found and photographed by Alan Boyd yesterday, June 10, at Lake Musconetcong. Viewing is from Koclas Drive. Please respect the property owners if you go. This means, stay on the road and do not go on the grass edge of the lake which is private property.
The waters of central to southern Morris and northern Somerset Counties were tainted a few years ago with a brood of captive origin Trumpeter Swans that circulated the area. Some of the mocosocoBirds posts regarding these swans are in the following list:
During the period from December 2013-April 2014, a trio of Trumpeter Swans visited Assunpink WMA in Monmouth County. These swans were determined to be legitimately wild and became the first accepted records of the species in New Jersey (see the NJBRC 2015 report here).
As far as is known, the Bernardsville “pets” have not been seen in the wild, i.e. roaming around the lakes and ponds of Morris and Somerset Counties, since the end of 2014. Building the case for the current Trumpeter Swan as a bird of wild origin is the possibility that it is the same individual viewed at Montague in Sussex County this past winter. General appearance and size are the factors leading to that conclusion, along with the observation that the swan has not been seen in Montague since May.
The 1st and third photos in this post are heavy crops meant to display significant features of the Trumpeter Swan. The top picture shows the diagnostic V-shaped forehead and bill. The third photo shows the steep slope of the head and bill and, if one looks closely enough, the joining of the eyes with the black of the bill (Click on the photo for a larger image).
The middle photo attempts to show the relative size of this particular Trumpeter Swan with the approximately 96 Mute Swans at the lake. The Trumpeter is slightly smaller than the Mutes. Even though Trumpeter Swans are generally the same size as Mute Swans, it will be accepted that this Trumpeter is within the size range for the species, albeit on the runt side of the size scale.
See David Sibley’s web page, here, on separating Trumpeter from Tundra Swans. The article also includes other links for more information.
- See Glenn Mahler’s photos of the Trumpeter Swan from today, June 11, on his eBird checklist here.
- Alan Boyd’s photos from June 10 can be seen here.
If this sighting is accepted by the New Jersey Bird Records Committee as a bird of wild origin, it will represent the first legitimate record of Trumpeter Swan in Morris County.
View local eBird checklists in the mocosocoBirds region via eBird’s Region Explorer. Use the following links:
@mocosocoBirds at Twitter is another communications stream. Instant field reports and links of interest are tweeted throughout the day. The latest tweets appear on the sidebar of this page. One can follow mocosocoBirds at Twitter or link to @mocosocoBirds.
The mocosocoBirds Facebook page is located here and also posts timely information not found on the mocosocoBirds web site.