Trumpeter Swan Soiree

  • Overview

    Central Iowa Trumpeter Swan Soiree
    The public is invited to a Trumpeter Swan Soiree, celebrating North America’s largest waterfowl species at Walnut Woods State Park on Saturday, Jan. 26th 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 wildlife given by Iowa DNR, Des Moines Parks and Rec, Polk and Dallas County Conservation naturalist. Spotting scopes and binoculars will be provided. An estimated 160 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.
    Saturday, January 26
    Walnut Woods State Park Lodge, 3155 Walnut Woods Dr., West Des Moines
    10:30-10:55 a.m. Trumpeter Swans- Bringing Back a North American Treasure- Margaret Smith, Director, Trumpeter Swan Society
    11:00-11:25 a.m. Conservation funding for wetlands and water quality- Mike Shannon, Ducks Unlimited
    11:30-12:00 p.m. Live Trumpeter Swan Presentation- See, touch and learn about swans- Dave Hoffman, Iowa DNR
    12:20-12:50 p.m. Trumpeter Swan Restoration in Iowa- Dave Hoffman, Iowa DNR and Ron Andrews
    12:55-1:25 p.m. “Return of the Trumpeter Swans” North American film documentary preview - Steve Harryman, Filmmaker
    1:30-2:00 p.m. SOS: Saving our Swans: Stories from the Willows Waterfowl Sanctuary - Holly Welch & Mary Nelson
    2 p.m.- Guided field trip and Nature Photography 101, Swan and wildlife viewing with hands-on photo tips-Wildlife Photographers Eric Williamson and Holly Welch. Dale Maffitt Reservoir area and southwest Des Moines area
    10:30- 2:00 p.m. Youth activities- Bills & Beaks- How birds eat, and a swan touch kit, Swan pine cone crafting, bird wings and trumpeter runway- Anne Riordan, Iowa DNR
    More information on Walnut Woods State Park can be found at:
    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 Water Works, Des Moines Parks and Recreation, Walnut Woods State Park, 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