A rare swan sighting at Crescent Beach

A lone Trumpeter swan has been seen on the shores, and on the waters, of Crescent Beach in Eastsound.

“It’s unusual,” said Shona Aitken education coordinator for Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center located in Friday Harbor.

Aitken said swans will only be found in salt water when other sources of water are frozen. The other oddity is that the swan is alone when these birds commonly travel together.

“It’s hard to know what has happened at this point … maybe it has lost its flock for the moment,” said Aitken.

A Wolf Hollow volunteer has been to Crescent beach today to check for any injuries on the swan and no obvious wounds or problems were spotted.

Trumpeter swans are the largest of North American waterfowl. Aitken estimates about 80 swans gather around the San Juan Islands around this time. They fly south from Alaska in the winter for a gentler winter. They are often spotted in ponds and lakes and by spring will be seen in grassland areas before they head north in March.

Aitken urges islanders to keep a safe distance from these powerful birds with wingspans that can reach up to eight feet. Wolf Hollow volunteers will continue to monitor the swan activity on the beach.