During the winter of 2018-19 over 2,500 trumpeter swans showed up on Deer Parks Wildlife Mitigation Unit managed by Idaho Fish and Game. That accounts for almost 25 percent of the Rocky Mountain population which primarily consists of migrating birds that breed in Canada.
These swans, along with numerous other waterfowl and shorebirds, can be seen daily flying in and out of the grain fields that are planted for them by Fish and Game. Swans typically spend the winter feeding on aquatic vegetation from our streams and rivers. In recent decades swans wintering in eastern Idaho have shifted their feeding habits to include feeding on agricultural crops adjacent to rivers. Their ability to adapt to agricultural food sources has resulted in significant growth in the Rocky Mountain population of trumpeter swans. The proteins they ingest now will play a crucial role in successful egg production.
Swans and other waterfowl can be viewed from several parking areas north of Menan along the Twin Butte Road. All access to Deer Parks is walk-in only, and visitors should not disturb or harass the birds. Northward spring migration will begin sometime in March, so come see the birds before they leave.
Click here to view a map of Deer Parks