In central Iowa, a Trumpeter Swan Soiree

(Iowa Department of Natural Resources photo)

The public is invited to a Trumpeter Swan Soiree, celebrating North America’s largest waterfowl species at the Blank Park Zoo on Friday, Jan. 27 from 6-8 p.m., and at Walnut Woods State Park on Saturday, Jan. 28 from 10:30 a.m.- 2 p.m.

Saturday programs will be given both indoors and outdoors at the Walnut Woods State Park lodge with concurrent outdoor viewing and interpretive presentations of trumpeter swans and bald eagles given by Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Polk and Dallas County Conservation naturalist. Spotting scopes and binoculars will be provided.

An estimated 220 trumpeter swans are wintering at the Dale Maffitt Reservoir and surrounding area southwest of Des Moines, providing a rare opportunity to view good numbers of free-flying trumpeter swans.

Trumpeter swans were once common in Iowa, but were gone from the state by the late 1880s. By the early 1930s, only 69 trumpeter swans remained in the lower 48 states.

As the largest North American waterfowl, these magnificent all-white birds can weigh up to 32 pounds with an 8-foot wingspan. Public support is vital in restoring trumpeter swans to Iowa.

This event is being sponsored by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Polk and Dallas County Conservation Boards, Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines Parks and Recreation, Trumpeter Swan Society and the Blank Park Zoo.

For more information, contact David Hoffman, Trumpeter Swan Restoration Coordinator, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, at 641-425-0737 (cell) or 641-357-3517 (office).

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