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PROWLS president helps swans relocate

Trumpeter swan

TRIO OF SWANS: A four-month old female had flown 4,000 kilometres or more from the Arctic, was tired and hungry and couldn’t go any farther, landing at Timberlane track. Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society president Merrilee Prior enlisted a woman enjoying her afternoon exercise, and they easily caught the young bird.

Merrilee had come with a kennel for a goose, so the swan, swaddled in a sheet, was placed on the floor of the car and taken directly to Lindsay Park. She struggled when lifted out, stretching her long neck to get to the water before Merrilee.

When put down, she ran in and started to drink, paddling out a little way. She ducked her head in the water, looked at Merrilee, lifted her wings to stretch and wagged her tail in thanks.

Two days later, Merrilee scooped up another exhausted swan, sitting calmly in a yard in Tla’amin Nation. Very thin and weak, he was easily caught and taken directly to Lindsay Park.

Upon release he had a big drink of water and began honking in pleasure. Now swimming out, he soon ducked down and came up with a beak full of yummy greens. Four days later he was spotted in the same bay radiating satisfaction.

Attracted by a pond near Padgett Road, an adult trumpeter swan flew down for a rest during its long migration from the Arctic. After a quick snack, it flew up and hit the power lines, crashing back down. It tried again with the same results, although this time it crash landed on a roof.

Normally a swan requires a runway of 90 metres to gain enough speed to take off, but when a flock of swans flew overhead, calling out, he launched again and made it. No rescue needed.