Students for Swans: The Iowa State Trumpeter Swan Restoration Committee

Trumpeter Swans ... Beamers Pond Poster by Gary D. Tonhouse http://www.reflectiveimages.com

The Iowa State University Trumpeter Swan Restoration Committee (TSRC) was started in 1994 by students from different disciplines with the same interest: to assist in restoring one of Iowa’s most beautiful and charismatic birds. Interest in the club not only grew in the number of students, but also expanded to include professionals and local citizens. In 1997, the Trumpeter Swan Restoration Committee was designated a recognized student organization at Iowa State University. Currently, the TSRC is a small group consisting of eight students and our faculty advisor, Dr. Stephen J. Dinsmore. Our passion for swans, however, is not small.
In cooperation with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the initial goal of the TSRC was to establish 40 nesting pairs of Trumpeter Swans in Iowa by 2007. In support of this goal and the project, the TSRC held annual spring banquets to raise money that is provided to the Iowa DNR and their cooperators to help purchase food for captive swan populations, fund habitat restoration efforts, and to assist with other project costs. We continue to support Trumpeter Swan Restoration and continue to raise funds through the annual banquet. The April of 2010 banquet was the most successful ever, raising more than $2,000 for the swans. This fall one our students, Mica Rumbach, volunteered time and mapping expertise to Trumpeter Watch, an extensive Citizen Science project of The Trumpeter Swan Society.
The TSRC also publishes an annual newsletter, Trumpeting the Cause, about Iowa’s swans. This newsletter provides updates about the restoration of Trumpeter Swans in Iowa, includes articles about how to properly identify Trumpeter Swans and Tundra Swans, information about the life history characteristics of Trumpeter Swans, and tips for wildlife watching in Iowa. The newsletter reaches several hundred people including natural resource professionals, Trumpeter Swan project cooperators, and citizens interested in restoring this beautiful bird in Iowa.
The TSRC has also assisted the Iowa DNR with various projects including winter feeding of captive swans, swan “round-ups” (when captive swans are caught and relocated to different areas of the state), and plans this winter to assist with the construction and repair of swan nesting sites at known nesting locations.
Thanks to the cooperation and hard work of many, the restoration of Trumpeter Swans in Iowa has been a huge success. The project has exceeded the goal of restoring 40 nesting pairs of Trumpeter Swans to Iowa, but we are continuing with our restoration efforts. Although we may be a small group, we work hard to make certain that this gorgeous bird remains in Iowa for future generations.

TTSS applauds the work of these dedicated and outstanding students. For additional information contact:
Tyler M. Harms
President, Iowa State Trumpeter Swan Restoration Committee
harmsy@iastate.edu

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3 Responses to “Students for Swans: The Iowa State Trumpeter Swan Restoration Committee”

  1. debbi meredith Says:

    I am on Georgian Bay, in an area known as Sans Souci (south of Parry Sound by water). I saw a awan today with a yellow tag on each side of it. Unfortunately, I had no camera or binoculars with me to read the number. I know it was black writing. The bird was large, all white, with a black bill and its neck seemed to be somewhat greyish. Maybe wet from feeding all day.
    Can you tell me more about what I saw and whether is was a trumpeter swan?
    I will take binoculars and a camera to work with me tomorrow, in the event that the bird is still around.

    • trumpeterswansociety Says:

      It sounds like you saw a young trumpeter swan, one marked by banders working in Ontario. If you have a chance to read the numbers, I know the team would be very interested. Immature birds have grey necks like this. We have a lot of great material on our website about Trumpeters, with some photos of these young birds in the identification section. Do let us know please if you can read those tags! All the best, Peg Abbott, Outreach Coordinator, TTSS

    • trumpeterswansociety Says:

      Hi Debbie,
      Thank you for reporting the swan you saw at Sans Souci. This was a Trumpeter Swan, probably a cygnet (with the grey neck) hatched in 2010. If you could read the number on the tag, we could tell you more about the bird.
      Cheers, Harry Lumsden

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