Trumpeter Swans Come To Denali During Their Annual Migration

Trumpeter Swans in Denali National Park

One of the greatest stories on the planet is the annual migration of birds. In the subarctic and arctic, there is abundance of food and nesting habitat in the Summer. Millions and millions of birds fly, some of them nonstop, to Denali National Park for the annual breeding and fledging of offspring.

Horseshoe Lake is one of the places Trumpeter Swans may be observed. They typically feed in our shallow ponds rich in food sources. This bird is the heaviest bird native to North America and the largest waterfowl species on Earth with males weighing up to 30 pounds.

Every year, I am on the lookout in the spring for their arrival and again in the fall when they feed just prior to their annual departure. Life on top of the world is unique and these birds’ presence on area ponds thrills us all.

Moderators Note:

According to the Denali National Park Website:

Horseshoe Lake guided hikes are offered daily at 10:00 am, the Horseshoe Lake Hike starts from the Denali Visitor Center, mile 1.5 on the Park Road. Parking is available at the center. No sign-up is required – simply arrive at the center a few minutes before the hike begins. The hike lasts about 2.5 hours.

Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 3 miles round-trip
Highlights: Scenic views of Horseshoe Lake and the Nenana River; occasional sightings of beaver and other wildlife
Elevation change: ~250 feet
Grade: 20% sections
Width: 60 inches
Surface: Native soils with roots and rocks

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