I have been keeping my eye on a  *herd of twenty (20) TRUMPETER SWANS which have been in the Saint Joseph area (Lake Contrary to Jentell Brees Conservation Area) for about a month now. Two days ago, on Lake Contrary, I observed one of the swans which appeared to be injured, both wings drooping badly and it was having difficult keeping its head up. Yesterday, it seemed to me that it had expired. It was a little difficult to view the bird as the swans hang out with very large flocks of CANADA GEESE and are obscured from view a lot of the time. Yesterday the main flock (of 18 swans) flew from the lake off in the direction of their "day time area" in a sluice in a harvested corn field near the conservation area. This left one swan (perhaps, the mate of the expired swan) on the lake which seemed unwilling to leave the lifeless one.

I suspect a shooting incident and have reported my findings to a conservation agent at the Regional Office of the Missouri Department of Conservation located here in Saint Joseph. I now am awaiting his findings in this instance.

* I thought that several swans together would be considered to be a flock. Then I found this by "googling":  "A herd of swans (bank, bevy, drift, eyrar, game, herd, lamentation, sownder, squadron, team, wedge, whiteness, whiting)". HERD seems to be the preferred name.

Larry Lade
Saint Joseph, MO
Buchanan County
The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
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