The other week, Dexter’s local swan couple made its annual appearance by halting traffic and casually crossing Dexter-Ann Arbor Road with seven cygnets in tow. According to the DNR, the trumpeter swans are on the threatened species list thanks to the ecological impact that mute swans — an invasive species to Michigan — are having on them.
How do you tell the difference between these two birds? Adult male mute swans have orange bills and trumpeter swans have black. The native swans also have a more “C” shaped neck; whereas, mute swans have more of an “S” shape.
According to Dexter resident Leah Harmon, the swans have been crossing in that same spot for at least four years, making them a longstanding Dexter family by bird standards. So long as swans have found a comfortable body of water, they will stay in the area during the winter, so they don’t often migrate too far.
Also according to the DNR, the States used to be abundant with these birds. However, in 1933, only 66 swans were counted in the states and almost 100 years passed before they were spotted in Michigan again. It is encouraging to see such a large and happy family of swans homesteading in our town.
We would like to see how these swans are doing now, so if anyone thinks they’ve seen such a family around Dexter-Ann Arbor Road and Dan Hoey, let We Love Dexter know by contacting us on Facebook or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.