Four federally protected swans being trained to migrate from the Alabama swamps to Chesapeake Bay for the winter have been killed, and at least three of them were killed intentionally, a biologist with the project said.
No hunting of these trumpeter swans is allowed in New York, according to officials with the migration project.
One of the swans was shot down over a marsh on Nov. 7, the day after Canada goose hunting season began.
Three more were found piled up in a dike Jan. 7, with shotgun pellet marks spotted on one of their collars, state conservation officials said.
The first swan could have been considered misidentification, said Donielle Rininger, chief biologist for the project, but finding three birds in a pile was clearly an act of vandalism.