Subject: Mute Swans in WA?
Date: Nov 21 15:21:07 1994
From: wrightdb at pigsty.dental.washington.edu - wrightdb at pigsty.dental.washington.edu


What is the status of Mute Swans in WA? The species is indicated as
rare/accidental on the current WOS field card (and I think a few sightings
of MS were mentioned in a recent WOSnews), implying that WOS does not
recognize an established population of Mute Swans in WA. Robbins et al
1983, however, show Mute Swans in the Puget Sound area ranging up into
southern BC, which suggests an established population. Is there a
geographically extensive population of feral Mute Swans here that Robbins
et al regarded as established (including the ones at Montlake?), or is
their map simply in error?

If WOS does regard Mute Swan as not-established in WA, what criteria are
used to assess the status of some Mute Swans in WA as truly wild
(vagrants)? Does it require a wild bird banded in Eurasia and identified
as such by its band in WA, or is it a judgment-call thing? It seems like
it would be extremely difficult to make a subjective judgment in the
affirmative if there are lots of ferals in the state to begin with.


David Wright
dwright at u.washington.edu