Trumpeter Swans (Cygnus buccinator) are native to Michigan but they were extirpated more than a century ago by over-hunting and habitat destruction. Most of the swans I see around Kalamazoo today are the aggressive Mute Swan introduced from Europe.
In the 1980s, Michigan began a program to reintroduce Trumpeter Swans to the state. By 2000, Michigan had over 400 swans, including 100 in Southwest Michigan. Since then, their numbers have increased. Wild swans are protected from hunting in Michigan.
Binder Park Zoo, where I took this photo, is a participant in the restoration program.
The Trumpeter Swan Society has more information on these magnificent birds.
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