Trumpeter Swan

A trumpeter swan feeding in the snowmelt at Creamer's Field in Fairbanks, Alaska.

A trumpeter swan feeding in the snowmelt at Creamer’s Field in Fairbanks, Alaska. The Trumpeter Swan is the largest native waterfowl in North America, the males averaging about 26 lbs and have wingspans that can reach 8 feet. The reach breeding age at 4-5 years and typically mate for life.

In the 1930s, trumpeters were brought to near extinction by overhunting, largely for their “decorative” feathers and for writing quills. Aggressive re-introduction work, primarily in the 1980s and 1990s by conservation groups in the US and Canada has led to a thriving population of over 22,000 breeding adults in Alaska and well over 45,000 in North America.

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Every spring the snow is plowed and grain spread at Creamer’s Field to serve as a migratory stop-over for birds. This a joint effort by the DOT, Eielson Air Force Base, and the Department of Fish and Game as it helps keep the many migratory birds off of the airport runways. As we enter late spring and summer, they will disperse from the area and we’ll typically find them in ponds all over the interior of Alaska.

CameraNikon NIKON D7100 (Current model NIKON D7500)
LensNikon 200-500mm f/5.6E ED AF-S VR
Focal Length310.0 mm (465.0 mm in 35mm)
Exposure Time0.0008s (1/1250)

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