Trumpeter swans are one of two types of swans found in Alberta, along with the tundra swan. Trumpeter swans can be identified by their straight beaks and jet black colouring, while tundra swans have yellow colouring at their bill base. (Submitted by Raymond Turner) Known for their shyness, it’s not easy to get a good glimpse of the largest migratory bird in North America. But that means that when it happens, it’s all the more impactful. Naturalist Brian Keating said over the last couple of years, he has seen trumpeter swans in the city of Calgary flying up and down the Bow River. When it happens, he said it fills his heart with joy. "They’re a profound, beautiful, iconic waterbird that we equate with beauty. I mean, you look at these swans, they’re so graceful, they’re so big, they’re so white, they’re incredible," Keating said. "They’re shy, too. So they’re not easy to approach. And I think that just makes them that much more alluring." It takes a lot of work to get a good sighting of these birds — or a long, powerful telescope. A trumpeter swan goes feet first into a body of water. Naturalist Brian Keating […]

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