Annual Trumpeter Swan Releases

The 2015 Trumpeter Swan Release. Photo by Marie Watson.

Since 2005, students and the public have been invited to attend Trumpeter Swan releases, where they watch the swans being banded while learning about the history of trumpeters in the Blackfoot, the restoration efforts, basic swan biology, and more.  They can ask questions about the swans and the program as well.  Attending teachers are able to hold swans while they are banded and released, with their students looking on.  Other attendees have the chance to release swans through raffles and donations. 

Seeley Lake Elementary teacher and Blackfoot Challenge Board Member Patti Bartlett and her class at the 2013 Trumpeter Swan Release. Photo by Amy Vann.

Over 200 people attend most releases, and about 150 of those are students from our watershed schools and a few other nearby schools. The Blackfoot Challenge supplies funding to schools for transporting students to the release site. While the program is targeted at students from grades 7-8, students of all ages are welcome to attend, and people of all ages are completely engaged while the swans are banded and released. 

Learning about aquatic vegetation with Blackfoot Challenge Vegetation Coordinator Karen Laitala at the 2019 Trumpeter Swan Release.

Following the release, students also learn about wetland ecology and other swan-related topics at a series of learning stations near the release site.  In addition, a set of accompanying lessons was developed for teachers to use to extend the learning in the classroom.  Visit our Resources for Educators page to view these lessons, and stay tuned to our Event Calendar for upcoming public Trumpeter Swan release details.

Stay tuned to our Events Calendar for the next public swan release!