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Harvey the Swan Returns to His Birthplace in Toronto

In April, Germantown Pulse posted a story about Harvey the Trumpeter Swan, had been a fixture at Lake Churchill in Germantown for two and half years, leaving Germantown on a quest to find love. While we can’t say if Harvey has found a mate yet, we can say that he successfully made the 325 mile trip back north to his birthplace at Tommy Thompson Park on the banks of Lake Ontario in Toronto.

On June 9, Burl Garface, a member of the Trumpter Swan Society in Toronto, reached out to some of Harvey’s local fans to let them know that their swan had arrived home safely. A video of Harvey, who is officially known as M78 on his tag, was posted to Facebook. The video shows Harvey eating is favorite corn treat.

Harvey was hatched as a wild bird on May 23, 2013, at Tommy Thompson Park in Toronto, 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.

Harvey became a favorite of folks who hike and bike around Lake Churchill. Photographers would come to take his picture and hang out with Harvey. It is rare for a Trumpeter Swan to venture so far south. He became a huge attraction at the lake.

After spending 28 months in Germantown, Harvey took off in search of the possibility of meeting a member of the opposite sex to pal around with and maybe some home cookin’.

Harvey was making his way north. According to Matt Rogosky, a biologist with the Bird Banding Laboratory of the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Swan M78, AKA Harvey, was reported at Rose Valley Lake near Trout Run in Lycoming County, Pa. on March 25. Rose Valley Lake is 152 miles north of Lake Churchill.

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.

The Trumpeter Swan Society reported that other swans which were born at Tommy Thompson Park have come back to find mates if that is where he’s headed, he flapped and flew the last 194 miles northwest from Rose Valley Lake to Tommy Thompson Park. His total trip was at least 348 miles. It is unknown if he stopped off to sample the corn treats at any other lakes along the way.


Top: Harvey the Swan became a huge attraction at Germantown’s Lake Churchill. The Trumpeter Swan, which is rare to find in Maryland has left the area and returned to his birthplace in Toronto.

Next: Harvey’s journey. Map courtesy Google Maps.

Video: Harvey, officially Trumpeter Swan M78, getting his favorite corn treat at Tommy Thompson Park in Toronto. The video was posted by Burl Garface, a member of the Trumpeter Swan Society.

Next: Harvey strutting his stuff. Trumpeter Swans are the largest waterfowl in North American and found only in North America. Photo credit: Melisa McCeney.

Edit Note: An earlier version of this article misidentified Burl Garface as the man who tagged Harvey. It has been corrected.

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