By 1900, Trumpeter Swans were extirpated from their nesting and wintering areas in Central and Eastern North America. Their historic migrations to southerly wintering sites were totally destroyed. In recent decades wild nesting populations of Trumpeters have successfully recovered or have been restored. Many swans migrate to separate wintering areas, but others winter near their northern breeding areas. An unknown number are pioneering southward where they are beginning to establish use of more southerly wintering sites.
Little is known regarding the numbers and groupings of southward migrants east of the Rocky Mountains, the location and characteristics of the sites they are pioneering, the duration of use, or problems they may be encountering. By providing information through Trumpeter Watch, observers can help document the changing distribution of migrating and wintering Trumpeter Swans and help identify potential new southerly migration and wintering sites.