Each staff member at the Phoenix Zoo LOVES animals. So when Bird Keeper, Kyle Waites, heard through the grapevine that a swan was spotted at the Children’s Zoo Lake, he grabbed his camera to take some photos of the beautiful bird.

However, after close scrutiny, many photos and multiple lengthy discussions with various people, they discovered it was actually a juvenile trumpeter swan — a VERY uncommon sight in Arizona! Perhaps even MORE exciting, it is possibly the first accepted trumpeter swan sighting in the City of Phoenix!

The trumpeter swan is the world’s largest species of waterfowl and North America’s heaviest flying bird, with some individuals weighing up to 26 pounds. In fact, they are a great example of conservation success; because of over-hunting in the 17th and 18th centuries, the trumpeter swan population was down to only 69 known individuals in 1935. Thankfully, due to conservation efforts, the population had risen to nearly 35,000 by 2005!

The photos are currently being reviewed by the Arizona Bird Committee as the first accepted sighting of the trumpeter swan in Phoenix.