My parents and I took a road trip up to Heber Springs yesterday morning. We really did not have an agenda, just wanted to take a drive on this dreary, drizzly day. Shortly before we arrived at the yet to be determined destination, Daddy asked “I wonder if the swans are here, yet?” So, our “yet to be determined destination” was determined! Instead of turning left onto Hwy 25B to head into downtown Heber Springs, we went straight to the light and turned right onto Hwy 110 towards Wilburn. We traveled a couple more miles to Hays Road and turned left. At the end of the road is Magness Lake. And here is what we found:
Each year around Thanksgiving, these Trumpeter Swans fly south, as far as Heber Springs, for the winter. According to the website About.com, the birds have been coming here for the past 20 years. It’s believed that the original 3 got knocked off course during a storm back in 1991. As many as 150 swans can be found on this lake in a season. There wasn’t near that many yesterday morning, maybe the others haven’t started their vacation yet.
Trumpeter Swans are huge, 30 pound birds with up to 8-foot wingspans. They are the largest waterfowl species native to North America, About.com says. We’ve been coming to Magness Lake for the last few years to see them. They’ve made some great photos that I’m pretty proud of. Here are a few of my favorites:
All ages of swans can be viewed on the lake. Younger ones have gray feathers (top picture), adults are solid white (bottom picture).
They honk, dive, flap their wings and chase each other around. They are very animated and fun to watch.
If you plan to make a trip to Magness Lake to see the Trumpeter Swans, be sure to bring some shelled corn. They LOVE it!! Also, this is private property, so please be mindful of the environment. There is parking near the fence that surrounds the lake. The swans usually hang around until Valentine’s Day or early March.
Until next time…