A family has moved into the Alexandria area. Meet the Swans.
Mama and Papa Trumpeter Swan and the five little Swans have been tooling around a farm pond just off of State Highway 29, north of Alexandria across from Nordic Trails Golf Course.
Trumpeter Swan numbers were way down a while back, but Area DNR Naturalist, Ben Eckhoff, says they are a true conservation success story and have rebounded nicely.
“Trumpeter Swans usually pick shallow ponds, lakes, or rivers with plenty of aquatic vegetation to eat. They prefer quite bodies of water with minimal disturbances or activity. Farm ponds like the one they chose fit the bill for a good swan nursery. Like the Canada Goose, they often pick muskrat or beaver lodges to nest on. The other option is to make their own nest. The male, known as the cob, will uproot and pass aquatic vegetation to the female, known as the pen.”
“They will spend their first few months in that particular pond most likely, but as the baby swans, get older they will potentially move them around to nearby ponds. They will then most likely join up with the hundreds of other Trumpeter Swans that stage on Lake Carlos, the Long Prairie River and other local lakes. Some will then migrate and others will stay all winter right here. In general, as long as they have access to food and open water they will stick around. Of those that do leave, they may only go as far as Monticello, Minnesota where there is a large wintering population.”
Ben says for the first time since he has been here, they have a nesting pair of Trumpeters in Lake Carlos State Park.
Other swans you may have heard of include the Mute Swan.
The Fake Swan.
Lynn Swann. Sorry, Steelers fans. Can’t include the Hall of Fame receiver. Too many “n’s” in his Swann.
Tchaikovsky even made room for a trumpeter in his swan song. Actually, two trumpets in D, E, and F.
What Swan Lake trumpeter, owner of a farm pond hosting seven Trumpeter Swans, or Lake Carlos State Park Naturalist, wouldn’t want to end their day with a relaxing white cappuccino topped with a swan cream design?