▶️ Dozens of swans and geese crash and die in snowstorm near Burns


A wildlife hospital in Bend is treating the survivor of a mass waterfowl casualty event that happened near Burns.

The tundra swan was lucky to survive a casualty event that killed about 30 swans and snow geese near the town of Drewsey in Harney County the morning of November 8. 

Biologists believe the migrating birds were disoriented by a lunar eclipse and a snowstorm.

“So disoriented that when they came down to land they impacted power lines, light poles and the ground extremely hard and there were dozens of birds that died unfortunately,” said Sally Compton, Think Wild executive director.

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A volunteer brought the injured swan to Think Wild, a wildlife hospital in Bend, where it was examined by a veterinarian.

The bird’s injuries include abrasions and soft tissue bruising, but no broken bones. 

The swan is being treated with inflammatory drugs and lots of food to help it regain its strength.

“The tricky thing with swan is it is hard to get them to eat in rehab,” Compton said. “We’ve tried a couple of things. We are feeding live bugs and we put in a mirror in the enclosure. They usually eat better if they are in a social group. We are trying to trick the swan into thinking there are other swan in the enclosure.”

If the swan is determined fit for release within a couple of weeks, it may be taken back to Harney County from where it could continue its southward migration with other flocks of swan and geese. 

If the rehabilitation takes longer, the swan may be transported by car to California and released onto swan wintering grounds.


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