Some Trumpeter Swans spend the winter near the St. Croix River. They are one of the largest Minnesota birds with a wing span of almost eight feet. Their long graceful neck and snow white plumage make them easy to identify. I usually hear their trumpet-like call before seeing them.
This winter, I’ve seen more Trumpeter Swans than in past years. They are living up river a short ways. I hear them calling to each other, sometimes quietly, other times with great, loud honks. Near sunset, they fly home from nearby corn fields and wherever else they go to during the day. They return in small groups, mostly of two to seven. Some larger groups fly home together. When I hear their calls, I search the far shore to see them return, flying with their long necks fully extended.