Although their kind have been extinct on Storm Lake for some 125 years, the first two trumpeter swans released to the wild here by the Buena Vista County Swan Restoration Committee seem comfortable to stroll the beach near Chautauqua Park, amid the colorful fall foliage and mild temperatures.
The next step will be to see if the swans, some of the first hatched in the Storm Lake area in 1999, will migrate south. The program's ultimate hope is to launch a wild population of these largest waterbirds in the world, migrating and returning annually to nest and produce new cygnets. The project is in need of funds to feed and provide medical care for resident mated pairs and cygnets. Donations can be sent to Box 714, Storm Lake, or dropped off at the Pilot-Tribune.