• An aerial view of Old Faithful erupting taken from Observation Point with the Old Faithful Inn to the side.


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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?

Bison in Yellowstone.

There are more people hurt by bison than by bears each year in Yellowstone. Park regulations state that visitors must stay at least 25 yards away from bison or elk and 100 yards away from bears.