"White" skies are a sign of spring

    Tundra swans are flocking across Ontario's South Coast!

    LONG POINT, ON, March 10 /CNW/ - Look up! Look around! They're everywhere
right now. The sky is white with them! Norfolk County, along Ontario's South
Coast, is alive with thousands of white Tundra Swans passing through the area,
as part of their annual 6,000-kilometre flight to the Canadian Arctic for the
    According to Bird Studies Canada, located in Port Rowan, Tundra Swans
spend 17 to 33 days in the area as their staging ground because of the vast
marshland of Long Point Bay in Lake Erie, which is part of Long Point
Biosphere Reserve. The ample supply of leftover harvested corn and wheat in
the nearby agriculture fields are critical for the birds to build up their
strength and nutrition for the next stretch before they continue their flight.
    Tundra Swans were formerly named "whistling swans", not for their voices
but for the sound of their slow, powerful beating of their wings in flight.
"Nothing can describe the awesome, high-level sound of thousands of migrating
birds amongst the marshes", said Cindy Vanderstar, Promotions Coordinator for
Norfolk County's Tourism and Economic Development office. "Their night-time
socializing can be heard for miles."
    "The Long Point area is one of the best migration areas for bird watching
in North America", said Jodi Allair, Project Biologist and Outreach
Coordinator for Bird Studies Canada. He added that as many as 40 to 50,000
Tundra Swans will pass by here each year, approximately half of the eastern
North American population. The timing of this migration can vary from year to
year, but usually in early to mid-March one can see from a few hundred to
several thousand Tundra Swans in and around Long Point.
    This environmentally sensitive area is part of the Long Point World
Biosphere Reserve, designated by UNESCO in 1986.

    Norfolk County offers unique experiences to its visitors while they
travel throughout "Ontario's South Coast". Birding, agri-tourism, heritage and
culture are areas of interest with our tourists. For more information on
accommodations and other amenities, visit www.norfolktourism.ca or call

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Mayor Dennis Travale, (519)
426-5870 ext. 1220; Cindy Vanderstar, Promotions Coordinator, Office: (519)
426-5870 ext. 1301, Cell: (519) 420-9806

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