Birds are fairly weather dependent and will take advantage of weather patterns when migrating. However, in general terms, the swans are very “flashy” in the spring. The trumpeter swans will be seen in small family groups and can actually stay all winter and disperse very quickly as soon as the ice starts to break. The tundra swans rarely make an appearance here in the spring but are our top “viewable” species in the fall, generally peaking during the second week of November.
Great blue herons nest here, so they start showing up sometime in mid-late March and begin working on nests in the colonies shortly after they arrive. They typically begin nesting from mid-late April and the young usually fledge in early-mid July. We ask that people stay out of the heron colonies once the birds arrive as they do not do well with human disturbance.
Bald eagles are here year round but are most easily seen in late-March when they congregate around the breaking ice. Nesting pairs begin working on nests in early January, laying eggs in Feb if the conditions are favorable. The birds that are passing through to more northerly destinations generally follow the breaking ice and disperse quickly once the river opens.