Trumpeter swans were abundant throughout Iowa in the 1800s, but pioneers commonly shot swans from the sky in fear of potential crop damage and they were harvested to near extinction by hunters. Iowa Department of Natural Resources wildlife technician Dave Hoffman says thanks to the help of volunteers, these majestic white birds were able to be reintroduced to the state in 1995 and continue making their comeback with more than 45 nesting pairs spotted last year.
Hoffman says an important part of the continued restoration is to count the birds.
The Iowa DNR, in conjunction with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is asking for volunteers to report any swan sightings. Hoffman says the survey, conducted once every five years, helps track the bird’s habits. Hoffman says they are especially interested in receiving information about “any nesting swans and the babies known as cygnets, when they fledge or fly and then any that are wintering or coming into the state in the fall and winter as well.”
To take part in the national survey which runs through September 25th, visit the Iowa DNR’s website.