Good Samaritans, volunteers relocate wandering swans

Jan. 30, 2012  PLYMOUTH EAGLE.


They made quite a sight as they waddled across busy roads and expressways without a thought to the danger they presented to themselves and unsuspecting motorists who had to stop for, or swerve around, them.

‘They’ are a pair of large, immature trumpeter swans who were nonchalantly waddling through the area looking for just the right nesting place. Flight is not yet possible for the birds as their wings remain unformed.

The two were seen traveling throughout Plymouth Township on foot and somehow they managed to escape injury despite the perilous paths they often seemed to choose.

No more. A group of volunteers, headed by former Plymouth Township Park Ranger Tim Smith, managed to net the swans and transport them to a safe reserve in Howell recently.

It was no easy task, however.

The birds were first spotted and tracked on Ridge Road by Smith who immediately realized the young birds needed protection from harm. The pair of determined travelers didn’t make protecting them easy for Smith or other volunteers concerned about the birds’ welfare, however. The birds traversed easterly though two heavily-traveled industrial parks, crossed busy Beck Road on foot and were seen heading east toward M14 through another industrial complex where employees from the human resources department at Isuzu Motors’ Diesel Test facility also realized the pair needed some human intervention to remain safe.

Smith first attempted to borrow a turkey cage from Richard Sharland, a local farmer, to try and trap the pair to take them to safety. Those cages were too small for 4-foot tall extant waterfowl with 6-foot wingspans, so Terry Bennett, the owner of Specialty Pets in Plymouth, provided a large-dog sized cage to help in the rescue efforts.

The volunteer group and Smith discovered the swans attempting to build a nest next to a small stream near the Isuzu offices, where the employees had grown increasingly concerned about the birds and offered to help capture and relocate them.

Success occurred two weeks ago and the birds are now relocated at the reserve where they will be safe and off the local highways, much to the relief of Smith, the Isuzu employees and drivers throughout the


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