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17 August 2021 Active Trumpeter Swan Nest on an Active Muskrat Lodge
Paige C. Miller, David J. Delehanty
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We observed Trumpeter Swans (Cygnus buccinator) nesting on top of an active muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) lodge, indicating simultaneous breeding uses of a constructed vegetation mound not previously recorded in the literature. Specifically, within the Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in southwestern Montana, we observed 4 eggs in an actively tended Trumpeter Swan nest, while underneath the swan nest bowl was a muskrat nursery occupied by 3 neonate muskrats. Swans are known to use abandoned muskrat lodges as nest foundations, but not active lodges. Our observations point to a close association between breeding muskrats and Trumpeter Swans in the shallow wetlands of North America and emphasize the benefit of robust muskrat populations for Trumpeter Swan restoration.

© 2021
Paige C. Miller and David J. Delehanty "Active Trumpeter Swan Nest on an Active Muskrat Lodge," Western North American Naturalist 81(3), 462-465, (17 August 2021).
Received: 17 February 2021; Accepted: 17 March 2021; Published: 17 August 2021

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