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Welcome to the neighborhood - 10 swans to be released in southern Iowa

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will be releasing swans at four locations in southern Iowa in May, as part of its statewide trumpeter swan restoration effort.

Swans will be released on May 6 at Pin Oak Marsh at 1:30 p.m.; on May 11 at Viking Lake State Park near the restaurant beach area at 1:30 p.m.; on May 12 at Lake Icaria Recreation Area on the north side of lake at the east boat ramp at 9:30 a.m.; and on May 12 at Lake Anita State Park, at 1:30 p.m.  Each location will receive two swans except Lake Icaria, which will receive four swans.

Directions to each release site are available on the calendar of events listing on the Iowa DNR’s website at http://www.iowadnr.gov/Conservation.

Filmmaker Steve Harryman plans to collect video footage and conduct interviews at Viking Lake State Park, Lake Icaria, Lake Anita State Park and at a restored wetland with nesting swans, for his upcoming documentary “Return of the Trumpeter Swans.” Harryman is working in conjunction with the Trumpeter Swan Society.

Each release will feature a program on trumpeter swans and an opportunity for attendees to see, touch and get photos with the largest waterfowl in North America.  The all-white birds can weigh up to 32 pounds and have a wingspan reaching up to eight feet.

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.

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