Staff optimistic he'll continue migration with others
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A tundra swan in the care of Bend's Think Wild wildlife rehabilitation hospital for the past two weeks was successfully released back into the wild Wednesday after surviving a casualty event that killed many other migrating waterfowl near Burns two weeks ago.
Think Wild staff said they are optimistic that he will continue migration with other swans from his release site at Summer Lake.
The swan, likely a juvenile from last spring, was brought to Think Wild after sustaining injuries from a collision event during migration near the town of Drewsey on Wednesday, Nov. 9.
Think Wild staff released the swan at the Summer Lake Wildlife Area, a wildlife refuge that serves as an important stop for waterfowl migrating south along the Pacific Flyway. Upon arrival, staff were excited to find dozens of swans already present in the area for the recovered patient to join and continue his migration.
The release went smoothly, with the tundra swan swiftly exiting the crate to enter the water and then fly across the lake.
Tundra swans are large waterfowl native to North America. They spend their summers breeding and feeding in the arctic tundra in northern Alaska and Canada, and migrate south to coastal estuaries, wetlands, and large lakes for the winter.
Tundra swans are most common in Central Oregon during fall and spring migrations, and can be spotted throughout the Willamette Valley and south into California’s Central Valley during the winter.
Migration routes can be long and dangerous for birds. Tundra swans migrate long distances, sometimes traveling day and night for as much as 1,000 miles at a time.
Climate trends toward larger, wetter storm systems on the West Coast during fall migration, as well as drought and habitat degradation, may affect tundra swans’ population success over time. This year’s quick transition from unseasonably warm fall temperatures to freezing snow storms may have contributed to this migration casualty event in Harney County a few weeks ago.
About Think Wild
Think Wild is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization located in Bend, Oregon. Our mission is to inspire the High Desert community to care for and protect native wildlife through rescue and rehabilitation, outreach and education, and conservation. We provide veterinary treatment and care at the wildlife hospital, staffed by expert wildlife rehabilitation staff, animal husbandry volunteers, and our staff veterinarian. Wildlife conflicts or injuries can be reported to their Wildlife Hotline at (541) 241-8680, which is monitored seven days a week from 9 AM to 3 PM. Visit them online at thinkwildco.org, or on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @thinkwildco