Sir Syd and Roast: Diaries of Two Tundra Swans

Meet Syd and Roast
In 1999 Journey North students kept track of two swans, a male named "Roast" and a female named "Sir Syd." Both birds winter on the Atlantic coast, and were captured on their staging grounds near Long Point, Ontario, which juts out into Lake Erie.

Sex: Male

Transmitter No. 20113
Weight: 7400 gms.
Capture Date: 18 March 1999
"Sir Syd"
Sex: Female
Transmitter No. 20179
Weight: 5150 gms.
Capture Date: 12 March 1999
Click on photo or name to see Roast or Sir Syd's migration map
Photos and data courtesy of Bird Studies Canada and
The Long Point Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Fund

  1. Calculate Roast and Sir Syd's weights in pounds. How many math books would balance one of them?
  2. Female swans lay eggs, which uses up valuable protein and fat, and then incubate the eggs, which takes a lot of calories. Yet males are much larger. Why do you think males are larger than females?

Diaries of Two Swans

Sir Syd's Diary

  • 12 March: Sir Syd was captured on March 12th, 1999.
  • 19 March: Between the 16th and the 19th of March, Sir Syd moved 100 km west to Dutton, ON.
  • 22 March: Between the 19th and 22nd (most likely on the 21st), Sir Syd moved 225 km northwest to the east shore of Saginaw Bay in Michigan.25 March: Sir Syd is still located on the east shore of Saginaw Bay in Michigan.
  • 28 March: Between the 26th and 28th of March, Sir Syd moved 450 km west. She is located 50 km west of Green Bay, Wisconsin.
  • 4 April: Between the 29th of March and the 4th of April, Sir Syd moved 650 km northwest. She is located 25 km west of Wheaton, Minnesota.

Roast's Diary

  • 18 March: Roast was captured on the Sinclair-Campbell Ducks Unlimited Property, west of Port Rowan, ON on the 18th of March, 1999.
  • 21 March: Between the 18th and 21st of March, Roast moved 80 km west to the agricultural fields near St. Thomas, ON.
  • 25 March: Roast was still located in the St. Thomas, Ontario area.
  • 28 March: Between the 26th and 28th of March, Roast moved 550 km northwest. She is located on the western shore of Lake Michigan near Algoma, Wisconsin.
  • 31 March: Sometime between the 29th and 30th of March, Roast moved 800 km northwest to a location near Fargo, North Dakota.
  • 3 April Between the 1st and 2nd of April, Roast moved 50 km northwest to a spot near Hunter, North Dakota.

Try This! Journaling Question

  • Calculate the distance that Sir Syd or Roast has flown since the satellite transmitter was put on.