Each year in mid-January, SJPT Conservation Project Manager Kathleen Lewis coordinates a count of swans in San Juan County. It’s part of a regional survey of trumpeter and tundra swans conducted annually by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). Having this info helps WDFW and it also helps those of us who are working to conserve habitat locally in the islands. It’s “community science” at its best!

Swans over Cascade Lake | Steve Alboucq

Swans over Cascade Lake | Steve Alboucq

Thank you for registering to help us with our 2023 Swan Count, which will be held on Friday, January 20, 2023! Please read through the instructions below and if you have any questions about anything, please email Kathleen Lewis (kathleen@sjpt.org) and/or Jack Russillo (jack@sjpt.org).

  • Please count your swans in your assigned area any time between 8am-11am on the day of the count (you may count earlier if that is more convenient; just don’t count in the afternoon as the swans may move around, resulting in double-counting). If you notice swans during this time in another area, and you do NOT see that area covered by this count, you can record them. SJPT will be checking for possible overlap/double counting.
  • Please respect private property owners and unless you have permission to access private land, count from the roadside.
  • Though it is highly unlikely that we will see Tundra Swans, nature is unpredictable—so brush up on the minute differences in field markings, just to be ready. If you think you see a Tundra, and have a good camera, please try to get a photograph.
  • Please locate your assigned territory’s map below (at the bottom of this page). If you have questions about your map, or need a map (for those looking in private access areas) please contact Kathleen (kathleen@sjpt.org) and/or Jack Russillo (jack@sjpt.org).
  • To fill out the form online: open the Google Doc here: Swan Survey 2023 Online. Find and open the tab with your last name to record information on your individual sheet (tabs are located on the very bottom of the page and names are listed alphabetically).
  • To fill out a hard copy of the form: open the PDF here: Swan Survey 2023 PDF. Please scan/email them back to kathleen@sjpt.org; drop off at SJPT offices in Friday Harbor or at Red Mill Farm; or snail mail to PO Box 759, Friday Harbor, WA 98250.
  • Even if you don’t see swans, we still want the completed forms.
  • Please return your form(s) promptly by Friday, January 27, 2023.
  • Once all forms are received and documented, we’ll be following up with the count results, both for SJ County and regionally.
  • For fun, we are hosting another photo contest! Please email your high-quality photos to Jack at jack@sjpt.org. Winning photographers will have their photo featured in our social media accounts and our upcoming Email Newsletter. Winners will also be sent a Preservation Trust travel coffee mug or hat.

Swan Territories

To see the numbers recorded during our previous year’s Swan Counts, view: 2022 results, 2021 results, 2020 results, 2019 results, 2018 results.