BC photographers give an up-close look at Trumpeter Swans

Click to play video: 'Swans caught on camera'
Swans caught on camera
Every winter we share the Okanagan with the heaviest bird native to North America with the largest wingspan of waterfowl . Sydney Morton tells us more about the Pacific Coast population of Trumpeter Swans – Jan 8, 2023

There’s something magical about swans; the birds have captured the hearts and imaginations of people for hundreds of years and they have been the subject of many photographers in the Okanagan and Shuswap.

Norman Dick, a wildlife photographer, stumbled across some swans in Tsútswecw Provincial Park in the Shuswap.

“I was hiking along the Adams River and I went down this island loop I haven’t been down before. I peeked through the bushes and saw maybe 15 swans,” said Dick.

“So I got close, laid down on my belly and took photos and videos for about an hour.”

The snow-white birds aren’t just beautiful to look at — the Trumpeter Swan Society says they are a sign of a healthy wetland.

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“Trumpeter Swans need healthy wetlands for their nesting and one way to know if it’s a healthy wetland is if there are Trumpeter Swans there,” said Margaret Smith, The Trumpeter Swan Society executive director.

“[Wetlands] help prevent flooding and prevent toxins from going into aquifers and they recharge aquifers that give fresh water to millions of people.”

Vernon photographer John Gallant has a spot near Historic O’Keefe Ranch where he regularly sees the birds to take their photo.

“They were coming in for a landing, there were three eating,” said Gallant. “The other photos, they are picking through the snow to get the remnants of the corn.”

The Trumpeter Swan Society states that nearly 14,000 swans are spending their winter in Southern B.C and in Washington state, bringing a little beauty and magic to our winter.

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