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Alaskan swans in the Okanagan

It’s no surprise that some animals follow a migration pattern as the seasons change, but it was a shock to one Kelowna resident who came across an Alaskan research swan in Sutherland Bay.

Earlier this month Mark Goddard noticed a white swan with what appeared to be a tin can around his neck. He was concerned for the animal’s well being and went about learning more.

He soon discovered that it was not a can, and instead a wildlife tracking collar.

After sending his video to various people in wildlife conservation, he discovered it was actually a Tundra Swan being studied by research biologists in Alaska. They were tracking the swan’s movements and migration patterns.

“This is a Tundra Swan from the outer coastal area of Alaska. The bands are large enough that they can slip easily along the neck so they do not impair the bird’s ability to eat, groom and fly,” says Martha Jordan of The Trumpeter Swan Society in Washington State.

“Birders and others who observe the bands are encouraged to read the code or photograph the swan so that we can determine what the band code is.”

The swan itself is in no danger, and appears to be quite healthy and enjoying life on Okanagan Lake.


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