Central Iowa Trumpeter Swan Soiree

  • Overview

    The public is invited to a Trumpeter Swan Soiree, celebrating North America’s largest waterfowl species at Walnut Woods State Park on RESCHEDULED TO FEBRUARY 15 from Jan. 18th 11:00 a.m.-1:30 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 wildlife given by Iowa DNR, Des Moines Parks and Rec, Kansas City Zoo, Polk and Dallas County Conservation naturalist.  Spotting scopes and binoculars will be provided.  An estimated 120 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.

    Hot chocolate, hot cider, cookies, hotdogs and other snacks will be provided free of charge. Donations will be accepted with proceeds going towards Iowa Trumpeter swan restoration.

    11:00-11:10            Welcome

    11:10-11:30 a.m.    Trumpeter Swans- Bringing Back a North American Treasure- Margaret Smith, Director, Trumpeter Swan Society

    11:30-12:00 p.m.    Live Trumpeter Swan Presentation- See, touch and learn about swans- Dave Hoffman, Iowa DNR

    12:00- 12:20            Break  & Youth Activities

    12:20-12:40 p.m.    Trumpeter Swan Restoration in Iowa - Dave Hoffman, Iowa DNR and Ron Andrews

    12:40-1:00 p.m.      “Return of the Trumpeter Swans” North American film documentary preview - Steve Harryman, Filmmaker

    1:00-1:20 p.m.         Birding Basics, (Anna Buckardt , Iowa DNR)

    1:30 p.m.-               Guided field trip and Basic Nature Photography, Swan and wildlife viewing with hands-on photo tips-Wildlife                                  Photographers Eric Williamson and Holly Welch.   Travel to Dale Maffitt Reservoir and southwest Des Moines area

    11:00- 1:30 p.m.     Youth activities- Bills & Beaks- How birds eat, and a swan/nature touch kit, Swan pine cone crafting, bird wings,                                  trumpeter swan runway and outdoor activities- Anne Riordan, Iowa DNR and Kansas City zoo education staff.

    Trumpeter swans were once common in Iowa, but were gone from the state by the late 1880’s.  By the early 1930’s, 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.  Walnut Woods State Park is located on the southwest edge of Des Moines metro area.  From the intersection of I-35 and Hwy #5; travel 1.5 miles east to SE 35th Street (exit 102), travel 1/4th mile north to Army Post road, ½ mile west to SW 105th Street, then 1.5 miles north and east on walnut woods drive to Walnut Woods State Park.

    This event is being sponsored by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Polk and Dallas County Conservation Boards, Des Moines Parks and Recreation, Walnut Woods State Park, Kansas City zoo and the Trumpeter Swan Society.

    For more information or questions contact:
    David Hoffman IA DNR- Trumpeter Swan Restoration Coordinator (641) 425-0737 cell, (641) 357-3517 office
    More information on Walnut Woods State Park can be found at: