From the Hur Herald:
There was a fascinating Thanksgiving Day visitor to the suburbs of the Village of Hur [Calhoun County], a swan.
The swan made a stop at the Lee Evans property on Rowels Run, appearing exhausted and needing a rest, landing in a grassy field.
The bird spent most of its time Thursday afternoon tucking its head for a nap, and appeared disinterested when Evans dropped some corn nearby.
The bird did manage to frighten some deer away from its position.
Evans said the best identification he could find in a bird book was a Tundra Swan, which migrates from the far Canadian/Alaska north to as far south as the Carolinas.
But the migration season is over.
Maybe a reader has a better identification?
The reason why this young swan showed up after the tundra swan migration season is because it’s not a tundra swan. It’s a young trumpeter.
Trumpeter swans now breed in the Great Lakes states, and there is a breeding population in northern Ohio and in Michigan.
This area in West Virginia is only about an hour’s drive from the Ohio River, and on Wednesday there was a massive front that came from the northwest with very strong and very cold northwest winds.
My guess is this young swan got blown a bit to the south and east of where these birds are normally found.
This happens a lot with birds. They get caught in a storm and wind up some place they never intended to go!
West Virginia has been known to get anhingas (“snake birds”) blown up here from the lower Mississippi Delta when storms come out of the southwest.
Tundra swans in West Virginia are not that unusual, but this is the first I’ve ever heard of a trumpeter in the state.
Trumpeters are much more common on the western half of the continent. They have only recently been re-established in the Great Lakes states. At one time, trumpeter swans were on consideration for the federal Endangered Species List but were removed when a large breeding population was discovered in Alaska.
So it was a nice discovery on cold Thanksgiving Day.