Second life for wounded trumpeter swan

EVERETT — A trumpeter swan found in a Fred Meyer parking lot last month after having been shot has been released into the wild.

The female swan, believed to be at least 15 years old, was nursed back to health at the Sarvey Wildlife Center in Arlington after being rescued Nov. 8.

The bird was released Wednesday at Lake Terrell near Ferndale by wildlife biologist Martha Jordan and state wildlife officials.

“She now has a chance to survive,” said Jordan, a swan expert who lives in Everett.

The bird was found wandering through the parking lot of the Silver Lake Fred Meyer store. The swan was bloody and was later found to have at least three pieces of birdshot embedded in its chest muscles.

Shooting a trumpeter swan is illegal in the state. No arrests have been made for the shooting, Jordan said. It’s not known exactly when or where the swan was shot, she said.

The swan was taken to Sarvey for treatment. It recovered well, to the point of getting antsy, Jordan said.

“She just had to get released because she really wanted to fly,” she said.

The swan was found with a tracking collar dated Dec. 16, 2001. Records showed the swan was the very first one of about 245 tagged as part of a state study of lead poisoning of swans, according to Jordan.

Swans eat small pebbles to help them digest their food, and sometimes mistake lead birdshot on the ground for stones, she said. They eat them and die from the lead.

“We were losing several hundred trumpeter swans every year to the ingestion of lead shot,” Jordan said.

In tests at Sarvey, this bird was found not to have any lead poisoning, she said.

Records showed the swan was determined to be at least 4 years old when tagged, which makes it at least 15. Swans live 20 to 30 years in the wild.

The bird was seen with a mate in a pond near the Fred Meyer store before it was found injured, and the mate was seen nearby when the female was in distress in the parking lot, Jordan said.

The mate is believed to have flown away, but the swan will likely find a new one at its new home, she said.

Lake Terrell has a large game refuge, reducing the chances of the bird ingesting stray birdshot.

“It has a big area that’s closed to hunting,” Jordan said. “There’s a lot of food up there, and lot of swans come to the lake every night to roost.”

When the bird took off, it looked strong, Jordan said.

“It was not a short flight; it was amazing to watch her go,” she said.

Herald reporter Rikki King contributed to this story.

Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439; sheets@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Shock from WSU suicide ripples through Snohomish County

Roughly 1 in 10 seniors, sophomores and 8th-graders said they had attempted to take their own lives.

$1,000 reward for info on who killed an eagle near Snohomish

After being shot, the raptor was treated at the Sarvey Wildlife Center but died overnight.

Woman confronts man leaving house with stolen item

“He swung at her with a crowbar, missing her.”

Police seek suspect in Wells Fargo bank robbery

He was described as white, in his 30s, heavyset, with blonde hair and a maroon sweatshirt.

Possible bobcat sighting keeps Snohomish students inside

The creature was spotted on the campus of Valley View Middle School around noon.

Stabbing in Everett follows dispute between brothers-in-law

The victim, 54, was hospitalized. The suspect, 29, had not been apprehended Thursday.

New leaders coming to county, state political parties

Hillary Moralez of Bothell takes over as chair for the Snohomish County Democratic Party.

Mom and brother turn in suspect in Stanwood robberies

The man is suspected of robbing the same gas station twice, and apologizing to the clerk afterward.

Derrick “Wiz” Crawford, 22, is a suspect in the homicide of his roommate. (Edmonds Police Department)
Roommate suspected in Edmonds killing found hiding in closet

Police had been searching for him for 10 days before locating him at a house in Everett.

Most Read