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January 12, 2021

Looking Ahead – Bird Department

As we start the new year, we are checking in with our animal care teams to see what they are looking forward to in 2021.

In 2021, the Zoo’s Bird Department staff will be watching our trumpeter swan pair with eager anticipation. Our young swans will be 3 years old, so this spring may be their first attempt to nest! 

Trumpeter swans are a Species of Conservation Concern in Missouri and are similarly threatened in other parts of their range. At the Saint Louis Zoo, we are dedicated to the care of trumpeter swans. Any cygnets produced by our Species Survival Plan-recommended pair may be released in the Great Lakes region, as part of the restoration program in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and various state agencies. 

Right now, our trumpeter swans are strengthening their pair bonds; they do this by facing one another while wing fluttering and sounding their namesake "trumpet” vocalization. Nest building should begin in April, and hopefully in June, between five and nine cygnets may hatch. With luck, these young swans may one day migrate south to over-winter near Alton, Illinois, with hundreds of other trumpeter swans! – Marija Elden, Zoological Manger of Birds