By Elaine Caton
Blackfoot Challenge Education and Bird Program Coordinator 

Avian Flu becomes a concern for trumpeter swans


January 18, 2024

The Blackfoot Challenge recently learned of the deaths of four trumpeter swan cygnets hatched to Blackfoot swan 3A6 in Sheridan, Wyoming. Swan 3A6 was released in the Blackfoot in 2016 and nested in the Sheridan area this year. The cygnets were determined to have died of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), or avian flu.

While the current strain of avian flu is highly deadly to domestic poultry, it appears to be much less lethal to most wild birds. However, waterfowl (birds like ducks, geese, swans, coots, grebes, etc.), some raptor species (especially red-tailed hawks, bald eagles...

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