Wildlife photography of a Trumpeter Swan flying so low that its wingtips touch the snow
Making their eponymous calls as they cross vast, open stretches of the snow-locked Hayden Valley in Yellowstone National Park, Trumpeter Swans arrive in the crisp, cold sun of Winter.
These magnificent birds were very near extinction in the 1930s as development and agriculture had pushed them from most of their breeding grounds. But in 1986 they were given full protection status and have recovered well with their largest numbers in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Considered to be “winged souls” by ancient Egyptians, Trumpeter Swans are both angelically beautiful and massive. With a wingspan of up to nine feet, they are the largest of all North American waterfowl, and lumber over about 100 yards of “runway” to become airborne.