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Trumpeter Swans return to Kupka’s Pond

September 30, 2013
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

By John Speer


"This is the first time since the 1890s a pair of wild Trumpeter Swans are nesting in Tama County," David Hoffman said Tuesday. He said the swans at Kupka's Pond on Tama's north side, which you likely have noticed if you passed by, are the the same pair which hatched three cygnets there which did not survive earlier this year.

Article Photos

One of the Trumpeter Swans exercises its wings at Kupka’s Pond in Tama.
News-Herald photos/John Speer

Hoffman is a Department of Natural Resources wildlife technician in charge of the Trumpeter Swan Restoration Program in Iowa.

The previous pair of Trumpeter Swans on the pond were placed by the DNR. One of the current swans is their offspring which returned this spring and fought with its parents, Hoffman said. The mother swan was killed and the father was injured. The father has now been relocated to a pond near Sheffield, Iowa, by Hoffman where it is hoped it will find a mate among four female swans there, Hoffman said.

Hoffman said although they are able to fly they usually will stay at the site they are accustomed to. Kupka's Pond also affords a food supply and open water.

Fact Box

To aid the local volunteer project:


Deet Kupka -


To aid current

Trumpeter Swan survey by David Hoffman-


Office- 641-357-3517; Cell- 641-425-0737; or by locating the Trumpeter Swan section on website.

Hoffman credits Deet Kupka, the owner, for providing food and paying for electricity which operates the aerator. He suggested anyone with interest in the swans locally could donate to Kupka for the food and electricity costs. He credits volunteers such as her for keeping the swan program going throughout the state.

You can contact Kupka at 641-485-0930.

Kupka said Tuesday she is keeping the aerator running now due to the low water level and will keep it running through the winter.


Beginning with the first release in 1995, the Iowa Trumpeter Swan Restoration Program currently has 45 pairs of swans across the state.

Hoffman said flooding and drought over the past couple of years has resulted in a reduction from 50 pairs to 45 pair in the number of pairs. Trumpeter Swans identified as being from Iowa have been observed as far south as El Paso, Texas, west at Pueblo Colo., east in the state of Virginia and in Canada, Hoffman said.

He is currently conducting a Trumpeter Swan nesting and banding survey. Hoffman is urging anyone who observes swans across the state to report sightings to him at Office- 641-357-3517; Cell- 641-425-0737; or by locating the Trumpeter Swan on the website.



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