Articles written by Elaine Caton


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  • Avian Flu becomes a concern for trumpeter swans

    Elaine Caton, Blackfoot Challenge Education and Bird Program Coordinator|Jan 18, 2024

    The Blackfoot Challenge recently learned of the deaths of four trumpeter swan cygnets hatched to Blackfoot swan 3A6 in Sheridan, Wyoming. Swan 3A6 was released in the Blackfoot in 2016 and nested in the Sheridan area this year. The cygnets were determined to have died of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), or avian flu. While the current strain of avian flu is highly deadly to domestic poultry, it appears to be much less lethal to most wild birds. However, waterfowl (birds like ducks, geese, swans, coots, grebes, etc.), some raptor...

  • A swan success story

    Elaine Caton, Education and Swan Program Coordinator, Blackfoot Challenge|Feb 16, 2023

    By Elaine Caton, Blackfoot Challenge Education & Swan Program Coordinator The Blackfoot Challenge and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began working together in 2005 to restore trumpeter swans to the Blackfoot watershed. Thanks to the support and hard work of many partners, landowners, teachers, and schoolkids over the years, we met our project goal in 2022, and the swan population here is now considered officially restored! The goal was to have at least seven successful nests for at least...

  • Trumpeter swans in the Blackfoot keep rising to the challenge!

    Elaine Caton, Education and Swan Program Coordinator, Blackfoot Challenge|Dec 6, 2018

    It may seem far away now, but we all remember the wet, chilly days of last spring and the water that seemed to be everywhere as streams overflowed when the snow melted. Those conditions made it challenging for the trumpeter swans that, with help from many concerned landowners and others, have been trying to make a comeback in the Blackfoot Watershed. At least one nest site was under water for weeks, making it impossible for the swans to nest. And eggs or young cygnets in other nests may have...

  • Trumpeter Swans, Irrigation Science, a Community Forest and One Big Party

    Elaine Caton - Jennifer Schoonen - Sara Schmidt, Blackfoot Challenge|Nov 24, 2016

    Thanksgiving greetings from your partners at the Blackfoot Challenge. Please read on for a few updates on what we've been up to. We hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. Trumpeter swan restoration program marks a milestone this year The Blackfoot Challenge has been working with a host of partners to restore trumpeter swans to the Blackfoot watershed since 2003. We are excited to report that 2016 has seen the most pairs of trumpeters in the Blackfoot, the greatest number of nests...

  • Square Dance Coming to Ovando

    Elaine Caton, Ovando Community Education Endowment|Sep 15, 2016

    OVANDO - The Ovando Community Education Endowment (OCEE) group will be hosting an old-time community square and folk dance Friday, Sept. 23 at the Ovando School. The purpose of the dance is to raise funds for the endowment and to provide a fun evening to bring folks together to celebrate the school and community. The Ovando School is a two-room schoolhouse that provides a unique and excellent educational experience for the preschool to eighth grade students who attend. The school with its attached gym and library also serves as the center of...

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