Trumpeter swans choose Yukon winter over flying south

Trumpeter swans gathered at Potter Marsh on Monday evening, Oct. 3, 2011, as they prepared to migrate south for the winter. BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News

It started with one mating pair about six years ago. This winter, 14 trumpeter swans, including eight juveniles, are staying through the winter near Johnsons Crossing, on the Teslin River in southern Yukon, reports CBC News.

Jim Hawkings, a biologist with the Canadian Wildlife Service in Whitehorse, has been monitoring the Johnsons Crossing swans since they first overwintered.

"They're really hardy birds and they'll basically winter as far north as they can," he said.

"As long as they've got some open water and something to eat, that's the key. They need something to eat."

Winter temperatures frequently drop below zero in Johnsons Crossing, though this hasn't been an especially cold winter there.

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