Did you know that the Trumpeter Swan is the largest waterfowl in Canada?
Originally native to Ontario, the Trumpeter swan had vanished.
Ontario has a program called the Ontario Trumpeter Swan Restoration Program, where the birds are banded, so we can keep track of them, especially when they need our assistance.
Many Trumpeter swans were raised in breeding programs and fed by volunteers. Unlike the wild swans, they don’t know how to fully migrate. They need to winter in a place with open, unfrozen water, shallow enough to reach the bottom for food. Unfortunately, some of them don’t figure this out and end up needing our help!
This handsome swan had a tough time through 2015’s harsh winter. Thankfully with help from the community and Wild Earth Refuge this guy was quickly on his way to recovery.
Dean (aka M45) is luckily one of the registered swans. Because of this we know a little bit about him and that he has a mate named Lisa! For some reason he got separated from Lisa and was found at the Whitby Harbor alone. Thankfully Jake, a good samaritan, knew to call us for help.
He was being picked on by some of the Mute Swans at the lake. He was very weak and unable stand on his own. Being the only Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Durham, he was brought to us for triage, initial critical care and stabilization.
Gentle and handsome, Dean was clearly exhausted, terribly thin, and showing signs of pneumonia. With a wingspan of over 7 feet, Dean needed a lot of space!
Because of his size, and our current limited space at Wild Earth Refuge, we decided it would be in Dean’s best interest to transfer him to Sandy Pines Wildlife Center in Napanee, where he would continue to get the best care in a much larger facility.
In just under a month, Dean is fully recovered and ready to be wild again. He put weight back on and is full of energy and life.
His mate Lisa is likely missing him, and will be grateful for his return. Trumpeters are long lived and form long-term bonds with their mates.
He was released on Monday April 13th, taking straight to the water, he was happy to be home. He wasted no time, dunking his head in to find food.
Wild Earth Refuge is working hard at growing our facility so we can accommodate larger birds like Dean in the future. Our goal is to be able to house a wider variety of wildlife that desperately needs our help in the Durham region.
Please click the donate button at the side of the page and help us reach our goal!
We would like to thank Jake for noticing that this boy needed help, and taking the time to call us. We also want to thank Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre for helping Dean through his recovery.
February 16, 2016 Update from Gary on Swan M45. Thanks Gary!
RE: The Trumpeter Swan M45 ‘Dean’ that was rescued in Whitby Harbour last winter.
He is doing well and is currently hanging out in Aurora with a whole bunch of other Swans. Here they are fed daily in a completely private pond which is kept ice free. He is reported to be following around a pair of adults that have 3 cygnets. This family might be the one that nested at the same site he and ‘Lisa’ nested in 2014. May be making advances on his former mate !!