[Tweeters] Mute Swans: escapees or wild??

Wayne Weber contopus at telus.net
Sat Dec 13 20:11:49 PST 2008

Art, Tweeters, and Whatcom Birders,

I agree that a Mute Swan in Tacoma is most likely an escapee-as is the one
that was being seen regularly in Clark County for awhile.

However, the situation is different in Whatcom County, where Mute Swans (up
to 5 at a time) have been seen fairly regularly for the last couple of
years. There are currently two at Wiser Lake north of Bellingham, which have
been there for awhile. Birders should be aware that there is a
well-established wild population of Mute Swans around Vancouver, BC (mostly
in Delta and Pitt Meadows) which is breeding regularly (juveniles seen every
year). There are at least 25-30 birds in this population, and Mute Swans
have also been established on Vancouver Island for almost 50 years. It is
probable that most or all of the Mute Swans in Whatcom County are stragglers
from the Vancouver population. I think it is high time that the Washington
Bird Records Committee added this species to the Washington state list. They
should certainly be counted on the Bellingham CBC, even if they are not
considered "established" yet. If not, it is likely that the sightings will
be forgotten, and the early history of this species becoming established in
Washington (I'd say it's a very high likelihood) will be very murky.

Wayne C. Weber

Delta, BC

contopus at telus.net

From: tweeters-bounces at mailman2.u.washington.edu
[mailto:tweeters-bounces at mailman2.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Art Wang
Sent: December-12-08 6:48 PM
To: 'Tweeters'
Subject: [Tweeters] Re: MUTE SWAN, Tacoma, Tyee Marina

The Mute Swan was on the opposite side of Commencement Bay by the granary on
last year's Tacoma Christmas Count. It was funny to see it in the midst of
the hundreds of resident Canada Geese. Needless to say, we did not consider
it countable.

Art Wang

Tacoma WA

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