Migration of the Tundra Swans
After a long snowbelt winter, one of the joys of spring for western Ontario residents is the return of birds that had migrated south for the winter. From spotting their first robin to great blue herons, many people keep an eye out for the birds of all sizes.
Few places offer such a spectacular show as the Old Thedford Bog just south of Grand Bend on Greenway Road. This area is the swans’ annual rest stop on their migration to Canada’s Arctic. Here, sometime during March (they set their own schedule) thousands of Tundra Swans will settle in the fields for a rest.
From Chesapeake Bay (Maryland) to Canada’s Arctic, the swans make a 6,000 km round trip journey each year beginning in March and arriving in the Arctic in May. Canada’s Arctic offers the swans long summer days, abundant plant growth and high insect activity – the swans’ favourite menu.
With their huge size, pristine white feathers and whistling calls when they fly, the swans draw crowds of people to view them during their stay.
Smaller numbers of swans make stops in other flooded fields across Huron County during their spring migration but where they set down is less predictable from year to year.
Check the migration calendar at lambtonmuseums.ca beginning in March for daily updates.