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Thousands Of Trumpeter Swans Grace Eastern Idaho Preserve

Mick Thompson

As residents of Nampa deal with thousands of crows turning the town into a scene from a Hitchcock film, a preserve in eastern Idaho is seeing avian visitors of a nobler sort.

With their graceful profiles and snow white feathers, thousands of trumpeter swans have taken up residence at the Deer Parks Wildlife Mitigation Unit.

“I would say we’ve got upwards of 3,000-plus swans on the property,” Idaho Fish and Game biologist Josh Rydalch says.

According to Rydalch, the swans started arriving in November and just kept coming through the winter. The birds were drawn to the site near Idaho Falls because it’s partially used for farming. He says Fish and Game leave some crops for wildlife.

“We leave probably close to 80-plus acres of standing grain crops: wheat, barley, corn,” the biologist says. “We leave it for wildlife [and] this year they really used it.”

A video posted online by Fish and Game reveals thousands of trumpeter swans do not sound like the works of Tchaikovsky.

According to Rydalch, the swans taking over Deer Parks total about 30 percent of the entire Rocky Mountain population. While thousands of birds are still on the property, their numbers are going down each day as spring sets in.

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