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Beloved Swan, Harvey, Flies North in Search of Love

Harvey, the Trumpeter Swan, which had become a fixture at Lake Churchill in Germantown for two and half years has left the area on a quest to find love. Harvey left Germantown a little more than two weeks ago, and it is believed that he is headed north to find a mate.

Trumpeter Swan M78, also known as Harvey, was hatched as a wild bird on May 23, 2013, at Tommy Thompson Park in Toronto, on the shores of Lake Ontario, where he was tagged by the Trumpeter Swan Society. Harvey then did some exploring north and was spotted on Bastedo Lake in October of 2014. He arrived in Germantown in November 2014 as a young bachelor looking to make his way in the world.

The Trumpeter Swan is North America's largest bird and one of its rarest. Native only to North America, they are the largest waterfowl in the world. Although most populations are increasing, they are one of our least abundant native birds with about 46,000 Trumpeters on the entire continent, according to the Trumpeter Swan Society.

For a Trumpeter Swan to make an appearance as far south as Maryland, it is a very rare thing. Harvey liked Germantown; he stayed in the Lake Churchill area for 28 months. He could be seen floating along the tranquil waters. Hanging with his fellow waterfowl and being fed by the many folks who had come to look forward to seeing Harvey the Swan at the lake.

One of the first people to take a liking to Harvey was Laural Weetall. She is a photographer and found out about the swan that showed up on Lake Churchill and went to take photos. She noticed that he was tagged and decided it was a good idea to report the tag.

“I put the photos on the Maryland Birding Facebook page, and somebody told me that I should enter the tag into the bird banding site,” said Weetall. “Shortly after doing that, my Facebook started blowing up with people saying that I found “Harvey.” I giggled, the swan has a name?”