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The public is invited to a Trumpeter Swan Soiree, celebrating North America’s largest waterfowl species at the Blank Park Zoo 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.
Hot chocolate, hot cider, cookies, grilled hotdogs and other snacks will be provided free of charge. Donations will be accepted with proceeds going towards Iowa trumpeter swan restoration.
Friday, Jan. 27, 6-8 p.m.
Blank Park Zoo Discovery Center, 7401 SW Ninth St., Des Moines
Presentations plus meet and greet - Blank Park Zoo staff Emily Link and Mark Vukovich,Trumpeter Swan Society director Margaret Smith and Dave Hoffman, Iowa Department of Natural Resources trumpeter swan restoration coordinator
6-6:20 p.m. Blank Park Zoo Trumpeter Swan and Species Restoration Efforts
Emily Link, Blank Park Zoo
6:25-6:35 p.m. Trumpeter Swans-Bringing Back a North American Treasure
Margaret Smith, Director, Trumpeter Swan Society
6:35-7 p.m. Trumpeter Swan Restoration in Iowa
Dave Hoffman, Iowa DNR
7-7:25 p.m. “Return of the Trumpeter Swans”
North American documentary preview-Steve Harryman Production
Saturday, January 28
Walnut Woods State Park Lodge, 3155 Walnut Woods Dr., West Des Moines
10:30-11 a.m. Trumpeter Swans- Bringing Back a North American Treasure
11-11:40 a.m. Live Trumpeter Swan Presentation
See, touch and learn about swans.
11:40-12:00 p.m. Trumpeters need Wetlands-Working together to fund the
Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund
Mike Shannon, Ducks Unlimited
12-12:20 p.m. Trumpeter Swan Restoration in Iowa
Dave Hoffman, Iowa DNR and Ron Andrews
12:20-12:50 p.m. “Return of the Trumpeter Swans”
North American documentary preview, Steve Harryman Production
12:50-1:10 p.m. Swans- Quality of Life
Holly Welch, Cancer Survivor
1:10-1:30 p.m. Winter Birding 101
Joe Boyles, Polk CCB
1:30-2 p.m. Trumpeter Swans and Nature Photography 101
Plus hands-on photo tips
Wildlife Photographers Eric Williamson and Holly Welch
2 p.m. Guided field trip to view swans and wildlife
Dale Maffitt Reservoir area and southwest Des Moines
10:30- 2 p.m. Youth activities
Steven Thompson, Iowa DNR AmeriCorps
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.