Swan 507 passed away
Some of you may remember the <a href=”http://126.96.36.199/search?q=cache:QRwszksUh2AJ:www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article%3FAID%3D/20070131/NEWS01/701310334/1018/NEWS02+swan+risinit&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=11&gl=us&client=safari” target=”_blank”>story</a> about researchers tracking Hudson River swans by strapping Global Positioning Systems to their backs. As part of their study that began in 2004, Fred Koontz, the executive director of Teatown Lake Reservation, and his colleague, Susan Elbin of the Wildlife Trust ,rounded up eight birds this past summer and placed transmitters on them. Five of the transmitters kept working and Swan No. 507 was the first to leave the area. He headed down to the Jersey shore.
When we last wrote about No. 507, close to the end of January, he was near Toms River N.J. Unfortunately that was about the extent of his travels. Koontz said a motorist found the bird “lethargic on the side of the road” at the end of February. The swan eventually died from lead poisoning, Koontz said, probably from either ingesting fishing sinkers or lead shot. The federal government banned lead shot for waterfowl hunting in the late 80s/early 90s but swans really dig into a river or inlet’s bottom when feeding and could find some old, buried pellets, Koontz said.