Beautiful and graceful, the Tundra Swan elegantly glides along the Chesapeake Bay during its winter holiday from Alaska. Also known as the Whistling Swan, the Tundra Swan is known to be native to the bay area. Every winter they fly nearly 4,000 miles from Alaska and the northern regions of Canada through the Great Lakes region before heading to the Mid-Atlantic area. A journey that takes nearly three months to complete. The Eastern population of nearly 100,000 migrating Tundra Swans nest in Alaska in the Seward Peninsula towards the northern Hudson Bay, with most of them nesting in the Mackenzie River Delta.
The majority of the Eastern population of Tundra Swans used to winter in the Chesapeake Bay, but due to the decline in their habitat and available food resources, most of the group now winters along the coast in North Carolina. However, these graceful birds can still be found in the Northern part of the Chesapeake Bay, as well as on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The best month for viewing these birds is in January and they begin their return back to the northern regions by early-mid March.
Watching these incredible birds gently floating in the bay water, and hearing their orchestra of trumpeting creates such a sense of serenity and harmony with nature. More information about the Tundra Swan and a sound clip of their music can be found on The Cornell Lab Orthinology website: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Tundra_Swan/id/ac
WHERE THEY CAN BE FOUND NOW: Near Quiet Waters Park, Annapolis, Maryland. Take Forest Drive South and turn right onto Hillsmere Drive. Continue on Hillsmere Drive, veering left and continue on until Hillsmere dead ends on West Bay View Drive. Park at the community beach parking lot and they should be along the water there.
Additional sites on Maryland’s Eastern Shore for viewing:
Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge: http://www.fws.gov/blackwater/
Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge: http://www.fws.gov/northeast/easternneck/
MIGRATING TUNDRA SWANS over Conowingo Dam