Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans 

If you've walked the Cottonwood Trail or driven over the river on the bridge on Highway 169, you may have noticed the pair of trumpeter swans in the pond.  Our swans are part of the plan to restore Trumpeter Swans to Iowa. 

Cygnets 6/9/14

Some history:  Trumpeter Swans are native to the Midwest, but were hunted almost to extinction in the 19th century.  The skins were popular for powder puffs and the feathers were used in ladies' hats.  The Iowa DNR and Iowa State University have championed the cause of re-establishing the Trumpeter Swan and wetland habitats in Iowa.

If you visit our swans, please respect their health and safety and do not feed them! 

However, if you would like to donate to the Parks Department to help offset the costs of feed, please call the Parks Department at 332-4280 for details.


Humboldt's Swan Timeline

May of 2004:  Humboldt received a nesting pair of trumpeter swans from the DNR. 
Spring of 2012: Three baby swans (cygnets) were hatched. 
April of 2013: The one surviving juvenile from the 2012 hatching was relocated by the DNR.
June 4, 2013:  The first of 6 cygnets were hatched for 2013. 
April 8, 2014:  The 5 surviving juveniles from the 2013 hatching were relocated by the DNR.
June 6, 2014:  The first of 7 cygnets for 2014 hatched.
July 29, 2014:  Unfortunately, the last cygnet was taken by a predator.
The parks staff is working closely with the DNR to investigate and address the issue.
Last Week of May, 2015:  4 cygnets hatched for 2015
Spring, 2016:  4 cygnets hatched for 2016
Check back soon for more news!


April Catching 

This is a picture from April 8, 2014, when the DNR came and relocated the juvenile swans from the 2013 hatching.


2013 Cygnets 

Trumpeter Swans 6/8/13 

 The picture to the left is of the 6 cygnets just
 4 days after they were born, on June 4, 2013.

They grow very fast, as you can see by comparing
this picture to the one below, which was
taken just over a month later, on July 20, 2013.


The DNR will come and take the young ones
to a breeding area until they are old enough to
choose a mate and start their own family.

 Swans July 20, 2013


Fun Facts About Trumpeter Swans

They are the largest native waterfowl species in North America, with a wingspan
of more than 7 feet and a height of about 4 feet. 

Trumpeters have broad, flat bills with fine tooth-like notches along the edges. 
This helps them strain plants and water as they feed.
The male swan is called a cob, the female is called a pen, and a young swan in its
first year is called a cygnet or juvenile.
The pen will start laying eggs beginning in late April or early May.  She will lay one
every other day until there are 5-9 eggs.
The eggs are off-white and pretty big - 4 1/2" long and 3" wide.
The young are born after 33 days of incubation.  They grow very fast and are
fully feathered by 9-10 weeks.
The juveniles stay with their parents until they migrate back to the breeding area in
the spring, when the parents set them loose.  They will look for a mate and a nesting
site when they are about 2 years old.
 Trumpeter swans mate for life, and may live for 20 years or more.


 First Babies 2015
(Picture taken June 2015)