Three Swans Flying and Three Swan Counters at Zylstra Lake Preserve | Michael Noonan

Thirty three swan-loving volunteers braved cold temps and icy roads to count wintering trumpeter swans on January 17, 2020. This decades-old effort, in which the Preservation Trust has served as the lead coordinating entity for San Juan County, is done in partnership with Washington State Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. Thanks to coordination efforts from Kathleen Foley Lewis and assistance from Sierra O’Connell, we had more boots on the ground and binoculars in the air than in any prior years. More volunteers doesn’t necessarily mean more swans, however, as the count came in at 99 trumpeter swans (95 adults + 4 juveniles) on the four ferry-served islands. It’s notable that there were zero swans counted on Orcas Island and Shaw Island.

Regionally, the numbers are as follows: