Thursday, January 15, 2009

Trumpeter Swans find their food again

Now that that flood waters have move on out to the Puget Sound, field are once again revealed as the prime real estate of The Valley. And, that brings the return of winter feeding grounds to our natural neighbors that visit the area – including the Trumpeter Swans. They seemed “lost” when the floods hit as they were wondering “hey, who buried our food under 10’ of water!!???”. I even saw one flock of 10-12 swans just on the fridge of Fall City along SR 202 swimming about in the flooded valley. No corn fields there, just peacefully wondering where the food was! But now they have returned to their normal areas with water giving way to dirt. They prefer fields of corn, silage corn fields planted in spring for fall chopping up as winter feed for cattle. They get the leftovers all winter in the fields left un-tilled and the WDFW helps too by planting areas in corn each year – stalks left remaining provide shelter for wintering pheasants and also cut fields give food for the growing Trumpeter Swan population in the Snoqualmie Valley (as in the Skagit Valley, Snohomish River Valley, etc…). You can see swans currently near Carnation in a field by Remlinger Farms, up by Carnation Farms Road by the old Nestle Farm area, and far north near Monroe by the confluence of the Snoqualmie and Snohomish Rivers. Enjoy these great birds and let me know what else you see out here this winter! (photo: Trumpeter Swans in an old corn field still partially flooded)

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