A Bevy of Swans

2016 has seen the most pairs of Trumpeter Swans in the Blackfoot, the greatest number of nests, and the most cygnets hatched here since reintroduction efforts began. That trend of success continued throughout the summer, with most cygnets from most nests surviving to fledge, or develop the feathers and muscles necessary to fly. There were […]

A Good Spring for Swans

It has been a thrilling spring in the Blackfoot for swan watchers!  There are more trumpeters around than ever, with lots of folks reporting swans in both known sites and new places.  And even more exciting is the fact that we have 13 pairs of swans on territories, and at least 8 of those are nesting! Some […]

Trekking Swans

In early June a pair of swans (6A6 and mate) had three cygnets that had hatched on a wetland pond near Ovando (see previous blog post).  When they were less than a week old, the entire family disappeared from the wetland.  I could imagine two possible scenarios to explain their disappearance: either something had caused the death […]

First Babies

  The first Blackfoot cygnets of 2015 hatched from a nest on a pond near Ovando on June 7!  6A6 and his mate (an unbanded female from the wild) are proud parents with 3 cygnets.  6A6 was released several miles north of Ovando as a one-year-old swan in 2011.  He returned to the area the following summer […]

Home Again

Trumpeter Swans first began making their appearances in the Blackfoot in early March, back from wintering grounds in southwestern Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming.  Since then, we’ve documented the return of the five pairs that nested here last year, in addition to several other Blackfoot swans, and lots of unbanded swans that are likely  here on […]


The Blackfoot Watershed gained five Trumpeter Swans in early September, with the release of 5 cygnets cheered on by 150 schoolkids from schools throughout the watershed and beyond. In past years, 1-year-old or even 2-year-old captive swans were released in the Blackfoot in May.  This year, however, only cygnets hatched last spring were available for […]

Summer Update

The Blackfoot Trumpeter Swan population continues to grow, with more swans returning to the watershed this year and cygnets hatching from two nests.  We had a record number of five pairs attempt to nest this spring.  Three of those failed before or at hatching, from as of yet unknown causes.  The other two pairs hatched […]

Spring Swans

This spring has brought positive signs for the Blackfoot Trumpeter Swan Restoration Project.  At least five pairs have established or returned to territories here in the valley.  Other swans have returned and may be in the process of setting up new territories in the area.  The only pair known to successfully raise young last summer […]

Fall Flights

Blackfoot Valley Trumpeter Swans are moving about the valley in preparation for their fall migration.  On a small lake in the Ovando area a few days ago, twenty-one trumpeters were found resting along the shore.  It was quite a sight to come over a hill and see all those big white birds!  Five more swans […]

Interesting Summer for Swans

This has been an interesting summer for the Blackfoot Trumpeter Swan Project. We had a record number of six pairs of swans set up (or return to) territories this year; very exciting news indeed.  Four of those pairs actually nested (another record number), but unfortunately only one nest succeeded in hatching young.  A wild storm […]