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Published January 14, 2013, 12:00 AM

PHOTO GALLERY: Trumpeter Swans on St. Croix River


Barry Wallace has been feeding and caring for the trumpeter swans that winter over on the St. Croix River for over 20 years. He does so with the permission of the Wisconsin DNR and works closely with them. Photos by Margaret A. Ontl and Barry Wallace

  • Barry Wallace has been feeding and caring for the trumpeter swans that winter over on the St. Croix River for over 20 years. He does so with the permission of the Wisconsin DNR and works closely with them. Photos by Margaret A. Ontl and Barry Wallace
  • Barry Wallace photographed this dead swan last week. It died of lead poisoning.
  • This swan is showing signs of lead poisoning; separating from the large group, drinking a lot, head shaking and breathing with difficulty. Once the symptoms show up treatment is not successful.
  • Lead sinkers, on the left, are causing lead poisoning in area trumpeter swans. On the right is a package of environmentally safe sinkers. These two packages were picked at random. Water Gremlin makes both types. The environmentally safe sinkers can be made of bismuth, tin or tungsten. Most tackle manufacturers make and sell both kinds. The “green” sinkers cost slightly more.
  • Trumpeter swans seem to have personalities all their own as they gather around the feeding bin that Wallace just filled.
  • A pair of swans settles in on the shore.