Despite the snow on the ground, the temperature is still climbing, and that brings the return of wildlife such as swans to the Rochester area.

A flock of Tundra swans was spotted in the Eastside Wildlife Management Area in Rochester on Tuesday, March 16.

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The swans are migrating back to their breeding grounds in the Northern Hemisphere areas of Alaska and the Canadian Arctic coast, said Lori Naumann, a nongame wildlife program officer for the Minnesota Department of Natural resources.

Swans stand on what's left of the ice and swim in the water Tuesday, March 16, 2021, at Eastside Wildlife Management Area in Rochester. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)
Swans stand on what's left of the ice and swim in the water Tuesday, March 16, 2021, at Eastside Wildlife Management Area in Rochester. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)

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Naumann said the swans were likely traveling up the Mississippi River and decided to stop in Rochester to rest and eat for a few days before continuing their migration north. They are part of the eastern population numbering about 100,000 that will sometimes migrate in large numbers.

During the winter, she said Tundra swans migrate south and congregate in the U.S. Northeast coastal region.