Sunday, January 4, 2015 Tragedy strikes Trumpeter Swan family

Seward, Alaska

The splendid resident TRUMPETER SWAN family has been feeding in various locations around Seward this winter, including the Lagoon by Benny Benson Park in town. After spending the previous day and night at the Lagoon, on Saturday at around 3 pm the family flew from the Lagoon heading east. A witness saw the two adults and 3 cygnets clear the power lines along the highway, but the fourth cygnet hit the upper line, lost its balance and tumbled to its death.

I happened by at 3:15 pm and found the beautiful young swan on the bare ground where it had crashed under the power lines. Though its body was cold and lifeless, one brown eye was still open as if it were taking one last look at the world it had so abruptly departed.

The Alaska Sealife Center and city police arrived around 3:45 pm to assess the situation. I hope that flashy, bright streamers or other visual markers will be installed quickly to help avoid another such tragedy.

This morning, the swan family with 3 cygnets was back at the Lagoon feeding bottoms up, surrounded by mallards, Common Goldeneyes, and a Bufflehead or two.

And life goes on, diminished by the loss of this magnificent cygnet that so enriched our lives since it hatched in June as a tiny, fluffy, white spark of hope.

Carol Griswold

sad Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter