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Trumpeter Swan

Swans in Montana? Sure. In fact, Montana is one of the few places where trumpeter swans nest. Trumpeter swans faced extinction in the early 1900's due to hunting and the draining of nesting grounds for agriculture, but these magnificent birds have made a gradual comeback.

American White Trumpeter Swan
Cygnus buccinator

Trumpeter swans mate for life but do not breed until they are four years old, so recovery is slow. These shy birds prefer to nest in secluded areas on rivers, marshes, or ponds and almost always nest on an island or on a beaver lodge. One of the best places to see trumpeter swans is in Yellowstone National Park.