Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

Public Invited to Attend Trumpeter Swan Release


August 31, 2017

OVANDO - Join the Blackfoot Challenge and partners next Thursday, Sept. 7 near Ovando for the 13th Annual Trumpeter Swan Release. This annual event offers the public a rare opportunity to take an up-close look at Trumpeter Swans and learn about their habits, biology, and recovery in the Blackfoot watershed.

Since 2004, the Blackfoot Challenge and a host of partners including private landowners, the US Fish & Wildlife Service and Blackfoot watershed schools, among many others, have been working cooperatively to restore native Trumpeter Swans to wetlands in the Blackfoot watershed. The goal of the program is to restore the population until seven pairs of Trumpeter Swans successfully fledge cygnets, or baby swans, for two consecutive years.

In recent years, the Swan Restoration Program has reached some critical milestones. 2011 marked the first year Trumpeter Swans successfully nested and fledged cygnets in the Blackfoot watershed for the first time in potentially two centuries. Since then, the population has continued to rebound. This spring, Blackfoot wetlands hosted a record number of 13 Trumpeter Swan pairs, five of which produced 20 cygnets. The majority of these cygnets survived and will migrate south with their parents come fall.

This year’s Trumpeter Swan Release will feature private landowners and agency representatives sharing the story of the Restoration Program. Attendees will learn about Trumpeter Swan biology, the restoration process, and the status of Trumpeter Swans in the Blackfoot watershed. A total of five swans will be released. Close to 200 elementary students from around the Blackfoot watershed will attend and participate in education learning stations following the swan release. The public is encouraged to participate in the learning stations, which will feature topics such as aquatic invasive species, aquatic invertebrates and wetland health, birdwatching and identification, and nature journaling.

The Release will begin promptly at 9:30 a.m. Thursday morning at Jones Lake. Participants are encouraged to carpool, bring their cameras and arrive early.

Jones Lake is located on Rolling Stone Ranch just northwest of Ovando. The entrance is located on Highway 200 approximately a half mile west of Ovando. Road signs will be placed along the highway. The Release will conclude by 11:30 a.m.

For any questions about the Blackfoot Trumpeter Swan Restoration Program or the Swan Release, please contact the Blackfoot Challenge at 793-3900 or


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