Georgia Birding and Nature

Mute Swans (appearing wild)
Recent Georgia Photos of Rare Birds
Lake Hartwell, Georgia
Lake Seminole
Lake Walter F. George
Lake Horton
West Point Lake
GI Horse Park
Yard List
GA Birding Year 2004-6
Yellow-billed Loons
Red-throated Loons (24 Inland)
Red-throated Loons (Inland)
Pacific Loons
Western Grebe
Red-necked Grebes
Eared Grebes
Horned Grebe (summer)
Great Cormorant
Magnificent Frigatebirds (Inland)
Sabine's Gulls
Thayer's Gull
Thayer's Gull - more photos
Franklin's Gulls
California Gull, Glaucous Gull, Iceland Gull, Thayer's Gull
Little Gull
Black-legged Kittiwake
Lesser Black-backed Gulls (Inland)
Sooty Terns, Royal Tern & Sandwich Tern (Inland)
Arctic Tern (Inland)
Pomarine Jaegers (Inland)
Long-tailed Jaegers (Inland)
Parasitic Jaeger (Inland)
Brown Pelicans (Inland)
American White Pelicans (76 in Piedmont)
American White Pelicans (100+ inland)
Common Mergansers
Mottled Duck (Inland)
Long-tailed Ducks
Rare Ducks
Rare Ducks for Summer
Greater White-fronted Geese
Barnacle Goose
Ross's Geese (7)
Ross's Geese in Upson Co
Ross's Geese Elsewhere
Snow Geese
Snow Geese in Summer
Mute Swans (appearing wild)
Black Swans (exotic)
Bell's Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Scott's Oriole
Cave Swallows
Rare Swallows
Black-billed Cuckoos
Clay-colored Sparrows
Lark Sparrows
Lincoln's Sparrow
Wilson's Warblers
Audubon's Warbler
Alder and Willow Flycatchers
Yellow-bellied Flycatchers
Least Flycatchers
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Western Kingbird
Brewer's Blackbirds
Yellow-headed Blackbirds
Common Ground-doves in Piedmont
Rare Shorebirds
Wilson's Phalarope
Long-billed Curlews
Willets (Inland)
American Avocets (Inland)
Baird's Sandpiper
Buff-breasted Sandpipers
Upland Sandpipers 52 seen
American Golden Plover
Anhingas in Piedmont
Anhingas Nesting in Piedmont
Roseate Spoonbill in Piedmont
Wood Storks in Piedmont
Night-Herons in Piedmont
Herons, Egrets, Ibises
Plegadis Ibis (Inland)
White Ibis (Piedmont in Winter)
Swainson's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk (Western)
Golden Eagle
Swallow-tailed Kites in Piedmont
Pelagic Birds
Cedar Waxwings Nesting in Southern Piedmont
31 Species of Warbler in 1 Day
Birds Abroad - Dominican Republic
Birds Abroad - Jamaica
Birds Abroad - St. Lucia
Birds Abroad - Barbados
Birds Abroad - St. Martin
Birds Abroad - St. Croix
Birds Abroad - Antigua
Birds Abroad - Guatemala
Birds Abroad - Central America & Caribbean
Birds Abroad - West Coast
Texas Birds

Just a quick type about the swans:
Michael and I found and have tracked these Mute Swans at Lake Horton because we feel these are actually wild Mute Swans.  We have found Mute Swans in the past in Georgia on public waters, but these are different.
I do not have time to go into too many details.  I will provide more info when I have time to review my notes and consult with Michael.
Exotics can show up anywhere.  I hope the term "exotic" is not misinterpreted by others.  Since we are birdwatchers, I would think the word "exotic" should be viewed in a birding context.  The National Audubon Society's "The Sibley Guide to Birds" 2000 edition written and illustrated by David Allen Sibley states on page 89, "Exotic Waterfowl: Exotic species frequently escape from zoos and private collections;" and he lists some species: Mandarin Duck, Egyptian Goose, Ruddy Shelduck, and Black Swan."  However, he lists Mute Swan on page 72 (with Trumpeter Swan).  He also shows the range coming downward close to Georgia.  Mute Swan is on the State List for Tennessee and North Carolina and the Provisional list of South Carolina, as far as I remember.  It is not on the official or provisional list for Georgia.  I will submit details to the Record's Committee for these birds.
Going from memory, FIVE immature Mute Swans first appeared in the late summer of 2002 at Lake Horton.  The birds formed two pairs and the fifth was pushed aside.  Then they left in the Spring of 2003.  Then four returned in the late summer/early fall of 2003.  They continued until the spring and left again.  The four returned in the late summer/early fall of 2004.
Michael and I have reported the birds and taken photos of them.
We've seen the birds flying many times.  I've found them at J.W. Smith Reservoir and noted that they had left Lake Horton to go there and then return.  So, the birds travel around the area.  Though Lake Horton is there regular hangout.  We've seen people try to give the birds bread, but so far the Mute Swans have shown no interest in bread.  Mute Swans as a species are approachable in the wild, and these at Lake Horton are somewhat approachable.  The first couple years though they were skiddish of people.  The birds do not have bands on their legs.  I have not heard from any private collectors about any missing birds.
The population of Mute Swans from New York to Virginia has increased alarmingly in the last twenty years.  The Atlantic Flyway Council wants to take steps to reduce the wild Mute Swan population from expanding into the Atlantic states including Georgia.  This is a complex issue, and I don't have time to get into it. 
The new $10 entry fee into Lake Horton has made it difficult to monitor the lake or swans.
Eric Beohm


"Look ma, no bands!"