Tundra Swan Line

The Tundra Swan

The Swans

The Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus), formerly named the Whistling Swan, is identifiable by its black beak and has a small patch of yellow close to the eye. Mute Swans have an orange and black beak, and the Trumpeter Swan has a completely black beak.

The male Swan is known as a “Cob” and the female is known as a “Pen” and it is said that these birds mate for life. The Tundra Swan is the smallest of the three species.

Migration

From wintering grounds in the states bordering Chesapeake Bay, the eastern population of the Tundra Swan begins its annual spring migration northward to breeding grounds in the high Arctic. Some 120,000 swans make a first landing at sites around Lake Arie in Ohio, Michigan and southwestern Ontario. Large numbers arrive at the Long Point Bay marshes and from there spread out through southwestern Ontario to traditional feeding areas such as Rondeau, Lake St. Calir, Thedford flats and Aylmer Wildlife Management Area and to any fields where there is a combination of standing water and quantities of waste corn.

Because corn is fed daily at Aylmer Wildlife Management Area, swans concentrate in numbers here, reaching 3000 birds at the peak of the migration in late March. Some birds stay only a day or two before moving on. Others remain for several weeks. Swans remain in family groups throughout the winter and during the spring migration. Only when they reach the breeding grounds are the young excluded from the adults’ territories. A few moments of watching will distinguish the family groups; two adults and two or three young. The adults are white with an orange-stained head and the young are dull gray on head and neck.

S M T W T F S

1

100

2

90

3

134

4

560

5

340

6

740

7

1246

8

2114

9

1640

10

2390

11

950

12

2436

13

1134

14

1864

15

1286

16

768

17

1648

18

1168

19

784

20

262

21

252

22

212

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

S M T W T F S

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

300

25

225

26

475

27

625

28

600

S M T W T F S

1

550

2

600

3

750

4

475

5

700

6

1236

7

1200

8

810

9

1100

10

350

11

610

12

750

13

250

14

475

15

625

16

775

17

750

18

1150

19

1150

20

1300

21

1150

22

1300

23

1350

24

1800

25

1100

26

575

27

575

28

700

29

400

30

200

31

200

S M T W T F S

1

475

2

549

3

635

4

851

5

915

6

845

7

951

8

495

9

495

10

600

11

750

12

875

13

1100

14

896

15

1150

16

1200

17

800

18

1139

19

1400

20

1550

21

575

22

799

23

2000

24

2500

25

2003

26

1849

27

1850

28

1489

29

798

30

798

31

500

S M T W T F S

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

600

14

160

15

475

16

100

17

125

18

450

19

600

20

800

21

800

22

650

23

850

24

700

25

600

26

300

27

300

28

300

29

30

31

S M T W T F S

1

2

3

4

140

5

500

6

450

7

975

8

1850

9

850

10

2025

11

2000

12

2000

13

1500

14

1750

15

2000

16

450

17

850

18

500

19

550

20

500

21

400

22

550

23

260

24

300

25

100

26

50

27

28

29

30

31

The Swan Line

The Tundra Swan Line (519-773-7926 (SSE-SWAN)) began in 1985 as a community service to update swan fans and birdwatchers on the migration of the Tundra Swan. Early each spring, the Elgin Stewardship Council (ESC) begin to track the swans as the migrate through our area, stopping off at the Aylmer Wildlife Managemnet Area, where the ESC volunteers feed and monitor the swans daily.


Eastlink provides this complimentary phone line, and the museum volunteers update the daily messages with the current swan count, conditions and any area activities available.

Aylmer Wildlife Management Area


10954 Hacienda Rd, Aylmer, ON
(behind the Ontario Police College)

The lands that make up the Ontario Police College and Aylmer Wildlife Management Area were used as a Royal Canadian Air Force training base during World War II. In 1964, the OMNR acquired the 137 ha (338 acres) as a provincial hunting area for upland game.In 1972, the focus changed to managing for waterfowl. In the years that followed, an inner sanctuary of 32 ha (80 acres) was enclosed with a chain link fence for the protection of the wildlife using the site and 20 ha (50 acres) of ponds and sloughs were created to attract migrant and breeding waterfowl. Over the years, facilities have been added and upgraded on a regular basis to enhance wildlife viewing and access for all types of visitors. Currently, there are trails, 4 wildlife viewing stands with parking, interpretative signs and brochures, pit washrooms, and 3 hunting blinds with parking.