North·Photos

Thousands of swans descend on Yukon's Marsh Lake for annual migration

Every spring, 'Swan Haven' is home to thousands of photogenic visitors to the Yukon: migrating trumpeter swans. Wildlife officials say this year's migration is ahead of schedule, with far more birds than the previous year.

'Celebration of Swans' ahead of schedule, with far more birds than usual, says wildlife technician

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      Yukon wildlife officials say the annual migration of waterfowl to the territory is well ahead of schedule, much to the delight of visitors attending the annual 'Celebration of Swans' at Marsh Lake.

      Swan Haven, located on the lake, is the annual resting stop for migrating trumpeter swans as they head to their summer homes in the northern Yukon and Alaska. Every year, approximately 10 per cent of the Yukon's population stops by to witness thousands of migrating swans, who will continue to flock to the area through the month of April.

      "The spring migration of trumpeter swans is really impressive this year," says Scott Cameron, a wildlife technician with Environment Yukon. "Not only is it two weeks earlier than we typically see, the numbers are quite high. We're anywhere from two to three times the normal number of birds we would see."

      As of early last week, over 2,200 swans had made their way through Swan Haven, compared to only 600 at the same time last year. Over the next few weeks, more and more swans will arrive to rest and refuel before moving even further north.

      Trumpeter swans, the largest living species of waterfowl, migrate each year, and have been known to range as far south as Arkansas.

      They're joined on their spring migration by multiple species of ducks, including mallards, northern pintails, and common goldeneyes.

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