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Tundra Swans

Wildlife watchers agree the migrating Tundra Swan Watch is a "must see" along the backwaters of the Mississippi River especially during the fall migration. Please visit the
Alma Tundra Swan Watch webpage.

Tundra Swans, formerly known as whistling swans, arrive in mid-October from the tundra on the Alaskan and Canadian coast near the Arctic Circle. They rest and feed in the shallow backwater sloughs until the end of November, at which time they leave for the east coast near Chesapeake Bay.

Tundra's vary in size from 4 to 4 1/2 ft. long with a wingspan of about 7 feet and weigh about 20 lbs.

During their flight in v-shaped formations, swans achieve speeds up to 100 miles per hour with a tail wind.

During their brief stay in this area, however, you will find thousands of them casually swimming, feasting on the wild celery and arrowhead tubers and waiting for you to take their picture or view them with spotting scopes.

During "swan time" you will also see a variety of other migratory waterfowl including Canada geese, teal, mallards, redhead, egrets and the magnificent bald eagles.

You can enjoy viewing the tundra swans and other waterfowl migrations in the spring and fall at Frontenac State Park, the Weaver Dunes Preserve near Kellogg, and from other spots along the river.

The best view of the tundras is from Rieck's Lake Park, 3 miles north of Alma, Wisconsin on Hwy. 35. The park has a Watchable wildlife observation platform with spotting scopes, and is staffed by volunteers daily during the swan season. The park area also has ample parking, picnic area and bathroom facilities. Rieck's Lake Radio, AM 1620, is received in the park and broadcasts recorded messages about the area and its natural happenings.

As you travel along our 85 miles of shoreline along the Mississippi River, take time to stop along the way to capture the sights and sounds of the birds and other wildlife. There are numerous waysides, town parks and river front areas to view waterfowl, shorebirds and song birds during any season. For further information call: (608) 685-4249.

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