We leave you this Sunday among trumpeter swans braving winter’s chill near Cayuga, New York. Videographer: Carl Mrozek.
The trumpeter swan (Cygnus buccinator) is a species of swan found in North America. The heaviest living bird native to North America, it is also the largest extant species of waterfowl, with a wingspan of 185 to 250 cm (6 ft 2 in to 8 ft 2 in). It is the American counterpart and a close relative of the whooper swan (Cygnus cygnus) of Eurasia, and even has been considered the same species by some authorities. By 1933, fewer than 70 wild trumpeters were known to exist, and extinction seemed imminent, until aerial surveys discovered a Pacific population of several thousand trumpeters around Alaska’s Copper River. Careful reintroductions by wildlife agencies and the Trumpeter Swan Society gradually restored the North American wild population to over 46,000 birds by 2010.