Watchable Wildlife: Swan Migration

Local News

Tundra and Trumpeter swans are coming through Wisconsin, looking for good floodwater conditions before moving on.

“It’s not really warmer weather that they’re looking for, it’s just open water,” said Jeff Pritzl, district supervisor at the DNR.

They are not attracted to developed areas–these birds like it rural.
And if they get much closer do not engage. These waterfowl can be jerks.

“There are stories of paddlers getting too close and getting knocked over from their boats,” he said. “So, you want to give them their space when you’re around their breeding territories.”

Their migration takes them far into Canada and often reach as far as the Bering Strait in Alaska.
That is a lot of ground to cover so do not expect them to stick around for you to gawk at too much longer.

“By the middle of April, most of the swans have moved beyond Wisconsin and are heading for Canada,” he said.

The Mack Wildlife Area out toward Shiocton is your best bet of seeing the swans before they roll out.

“People are going out into that Shiocton, Wolf River area to witness the swans, just like they’ll be back in a month to witness the sturgeon in the river,” said Pritzl. “It’s just a really unique, watchable wildlife opportunity.”

And if you miss them–it is not the end of the world.
The swans usually migrate back through wisconsin around Thanksgiving time.

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