Trumpeter Swan is on the official State Checklist on the basis of historical records (see below). This species is the subject of reintroduction efforts in the eastern United States, and recent sightings of this species in the southeastern United States are believed be of reintroduced birds.
Although Trumpeter Swan was reported by Oberholser (1938) as “perhaps a fairly common winter resident,” at the time he wrote this species account, Trumpeter Swan no longer occurred in the state. In fact, Oberholser lists only three “tangible” records. Two of these are attributed to Stanley C. Arthur: one photographed by him on 7 January 1915, and one shot by a hunter in November 1914 and confirmed by him as that species. In his book, Lowery (1974) states that Trumpeter Swan’s place on the state list is “rather insubstantial,” and he also casts doubt about Arthur’s documentation, noting in particular inconsistency of the photograph’s date. During the LBRC’s “Lowery Review,” the species was nonetheless “grandfathered” onto the state list and, apparently, no further attempts were made to locate and review Arthur’s photo. At this meeting, Members agreed that the status of Trumpeter Swan needs to be resolved and some recalled seeing a published photograph. Following the meeting, Paul Conover located the Arthur photo in the Bent’s Life Histories series. The LBRC will review the photo record in the near future.
--Donna L. Dittmann, NEWSLETTER OF THE LOUISIANA BIRD RECORDS COMMITTEE Annual Report 2009