Four trumpeter swans have traveled from Seattle to Michigan courtesy of Northwest Airlines on a journey designed to boost the population of the species.

The swans' trip to Detroit Monday marked a new beginning for the large white birds, all of whom nearly died from illnesses or injuries but were nursed back to health by Marsha Jordon of Snohomish, Wash., head of The Trumpeter Swan Society in Washington state."It's going to be a lot quieter at home," Jordon said as she saw Emily, Sigfried, Tess and Twospot off at the airport.

"Often when swans are sent to me for rehabilitation they live in my shower because they need to be warm. When they get stronger, they go out in the shed. When their feathers regain their waterproof quality, they go into a nearby swamp."