In the spotlight: Monticello, Minnesota

swansAs the days grow shorter and fall turns to winter, people begin to flock to Monticello, Minn., a TDS and TDS TV market. Monticello, located about 40 minutes northwest of Minneapolis, sits on the banks of the mighty Mississippi River. Tourists come from all over to see the more than 2,000 Trumpeter Swans that call the frigid, open waters of the Mississippi home between November and March.

Trumpeter Swans, who get their name from their trumpet-like call, are covered in bright white feathers with ebony bills, legs, and feet. They are, on average, the largest waterfowl species alive today. Trumpeter Swans have a wing span between six and eight feet and normally weigh between 21 and 35 pounds. According to the National Park Service, they’re about four feet tall however if their neck and legs are outstretched, they can measure nearly six feet long from bill to feet.

According to the City of Monticello’s website, the beautiful bird was widespread and relatively common until the mid-1800s. But, as central and Western Minnesota were settled, the swans were hunted to near extinction. Starting in the 1960s, conservation efforts helped the population more than double. In fact, the restoration program was so successful, up to 40 percent of the Minnesota Trumpeter Swan population settle in Monticello each year. For more information on best times and places to see swans click here.

About Barclay Pollak

Barclay Pollak is an award winning journalist and proud to be a member of the Corporate Communications team at TDS Telecommunications Corp. (TDS®) in Madison, Wis. Barclay joined the team in April of 2013. Before that Barclay worked as an Anchor/ Reporter for the NBC affiliate in Madison. While at NBC-15 Barclay was recognized by several organizations for his contributions to the television news industry. They include the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, the Radio Television Digital News Association (Edward R. Murrow Regional Award) and the Chicago/Midwest National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (2012 Emmy Nominee). When he’s not working Barclay enjoys cheering for all the sports teams in Wisconsin. Barclay’s a University of Wisconsin-Madison alumnus and a huge fan of Badger athletics. Barclay is fascinated by the ever changing world of technology and spends a fair amount of his free time reading about the latest and greatest developments online. When Barclay’s not learning about technology he’s scouring the Internet in search of freeware. Barclay has an 8-year-old daughter and lives with his girlfriend of almost five years on Madison’s southwest side. G+.
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