• A bull elk bugles in Yellowstone National Park


    National Park ID,MT,WY

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  • Craig Pass Closed for the Season; Mammoth to Norris Closed Sept. 14-30

    The road linking West Thumb and Old Faithful is closed for the season—traffic should detour through West Thumb, Lake, and Canyon. The road from Mammoth to Norris is closed for two weeks—traffic should detour over Dunraven Pass. More »

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter swan family
Trumpeter swan family; male (cob) and female (pen) with four young (cygnets).
NPS/A. Boyd

The trumpeter swan (Cygnus buccinator), named for its resonant call, is North America’s largest wild waterfowl, with a wingspan of up to eight feet. These swans require open water, feed mainly on aquatic plants, and nest in wetlands. Although they once nested from Alaska to northern Missouri, trumpeter swans were nearly extirpated in the lower 48 states by 1930 due to habitat loss and hunting. Small populations survived in isolated areas such as the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, where the population was thought to number only 69.

As a result of conservation measures, populations across the continental United States began increasing. Today there are approximately 46,000 trumpeter swans in North America. Swans in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem played a significant role in the population resurgence, but by the early 1960s, cygnet production in Yellowstone and subsequent recruitment of adults into the breeding population began declining. Learn more...

Quick Facts about Trumpeter Swans in Yellowstone

  • In 2013, there were ten resident swans in Yellowstone, only two breeding pairs.
  • Trumpeter swans are a species of concern in Yellowstone National Park, due to declining reproduction and nesting rates.
  • An additional 10 swans were introduced in 2013 to supplement the population, 3 yearlings and 7 cygnets.
Additional Resources
Trumpeter Swans References

Did You Know?

Summer Crowd at Old Faithful.

At peak summer levels, 3,500 employees work for Yellowstone National Park concessioners and about 800 work for the National Park Service.