New Ranch Bird #334 - Trumpeter Swan
Category: Birding at the Chico
A large swan was seen on the 1st of December by John Drummond while he was showing a visiting group of birders a Ladder-backed Woodpecker.  Hoping the swan would still be present after the cold nightime temperatures, I arrived early on the 2nd and there it was a juvenile Trumpeter Swan.  Separating Trumpeter from the more common (but still rare on the Chico) Tundra Swan is not easy. The differences are in the shape and length of the bill and the amount of gray in the plumage at different times of the year plus leg color if seen well.  Also the calls (usually silent) of the Trumpeter Swan sound like...drum roll... an out of tune trumpet.  American Coots and two American Wigeons are dwarfed by the exiting Trumpeter Swan.
Posted by Bill M. on 12/03/2014

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