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February 22, 2016


Monticello, MN


Swan Park

Coordinator: Nancy Sand

Click on the small pictures to view the full-size photos


Photos by: Nancy Sand

      Jim Lawrence, John V, Diana C
with her Guests Mary and Ray
Lorna T, Carl W  Carl W, Lorna T, Nancy S, John V 

   Taken by Nancy on Feb 15th  


February 22 was the planned day for ULLRs to hopefully see Jim Lawrence feeding 2,000 trumpeter swans at Swan Park in Monticello.  However, Mother Nature’s recent warm days caused the swans to choose feeding in area bare fields over Jim’s corn at Swan Park.  If you haven’t already guessed – there were no (zero, zilch, none) swans feeding on February 22 at Swan Park that sunny day.  We did, however, see a few swans flying along the river, and we saw lots of geese and ducks that come for a free meal.  We also saw two eagles high in a tree across the Mississippi River hoping to see a struggling duck they might snatch for a tasty meal.  All ducks were healthy, and the eagles soon flew away in search of something else.

With no swans to feed, Jim spoke to us and other observers about the history of his late wife and him feeding trumpeter swans and about trumpeter swans and their habits.  Trumpeter swans are large birds.  When they stretch their necks, they can stand about 5 feet tall.  Because of their wide wing span, they sometimes misjudge distance between trees or power lines causing injuries and even death.

Trumpeter swans are natural grazers, so our recent snow melt provided lots of open ground for the swans to feed in area fields which is what they prefer.    So, if any ULLRs would like to see swan feeding at Swan Park next year, go there when area fields are snow covered.  The Monticello Chamber of Commerce can generally provide insight as to when there might be lots of swans to observe at Swan Park.

Jim Lawrence and other conservationists regularly share information, and their efforts have contributed greatly to preserving and increasing the number of trumpeter swans in our area.

These photos include pictures from our February 22 ULLR visit and pictures from February 15 when trip host Nancy S went to Swan Park for a preview.  On a cloudy day with snow on the ground in the area on that visit, Nancy saw lots of trumpeter swans choose to feed on Jim’s corn at Swan Park.


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Updated 02/23/2016