A Trumpeter’s Perspective

Hiya, my name is Ed, and I am a proud trumpeter swan. I’m eight-years-old and grew up in

the Red Rock Lakes area of Montana, USA. Although I am American, I consider Canada to be a second home since my family and I migrate through there every year.

My wife is Lily. We have four kids. Unlike many animal species, swans mate for life. I ain’t going nowhere. I got a wonderful family and great nesting spots. What else could a guy need?

However, there a few of the guys who think married life isn’t for them. It’s not common amongst swans, but there are a few swinging bachelors. And then there are others, who, after losing a mate, never look for love again. Poor souls. What can I say, we are a loyal breed — it’s in our blood.

Spring is just around the corner, and we are all getting ready to travel up the west coast of Canada. It seems I am really good at this traveling thing. In the past, scientists have come around and put little tracking tags on me. They must be really impressed by my flying skills. Did you know my wings span is eight feet? Pretty impressive, huh. The researchers even take my photo. My wife brags to all her friends about what a handsome swan I am, and smart too. I never get lost, and never have to stop and ask for directions.

I’ve often wondered why humans are so interested in us. So one day I had a very deep philosophical discussion about it with my sister. We came to the conclusion that the scientists like to observe us because we are one of the few waterfowl species that’s extant. What is extant? It means we are survivors. We have come close to extinction in the past, but we always managed to breed again. Another reason why family is so important to us.

We begin our journey towards Alaska. Before we get there we stop over is a nice territory called the Yukon. Some of extended family, the tundra swans, come too. Most people have a hard time telling us apart. I think it’s easy, they got a yellow patch on their eye, we don’t. The tundra swans say the yellow gives them ‘character’. I say who needs character when your swan calls sounds like heavenly trumpets.

When we arrive, we stay at a place called M’Clintock Bay. The weather up there is just perfect in April. Not too cold, not too hot, great vegetarian eats, clear skies, clear water. Sometime I wish I could live here.

Even the people up there are great. They go all out and make a huge fuss when we roll into town. They got this huge wood building with lookout points. In April, lots of people come out to watch us. Throughout the month of April, over 2000 of us will pass through the bay. I love the attention. Sometimes I like to show off by puffing my chest and swimming smoothly in nice patterns. I could do it all day. But then my wife calls, and I got to stop showboating and help her with the kids.

Toward the end of April we continue to migrate to Alaska for breeding season. Some of our cousins venture to the Northwest Territories, while others go to the more northern parts of the Yukon. Lily loves the pondweed in Alaska. She first became addicted to it during our honeymoon, so that’s where we always go. You know how the saying goes, happy wife, happy life.

Well, that about sums up our adventure. If you’re around in April, come to M’Clintock Bay and say hello. Just look for the most handsome swan paddling in the lake. 

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