Tundra Swan Festival
March 25, 2023 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
The festival is an annual, one-day event all about the Tundra Swan migration! The swans historically favor the Pend Oreille River Valley as they journey to ancestral breeding grounds on the Arctic tundra. A medium distance migrant, the Cygnus columbianus may travel from as far away as New Mexico, the California coast, and Colorado River, or as near as southern Idaho. Whatever the distance, they are a welcome sight and sound; a herald of spring.
The Tundra Swan is an elegant bird. In flocking with its larger cousin, the Trumpeter Swan, the tundra is distinguished by just a bit of yellow above the bill and an erect neck posture observed during takeoff and initial flight.
Mother Nature holds her weather secrets close and leaves the rest of us guessing when the most abundant numbers of the snow-white swans will be at Calispel Lake in Pend Oreille County, Washington. Ranging in numbers from a small flock to hundreds, the spectacle of flapping wings and sparkling, all-white plumage is always memorable. The cacophony of bugling calls and water slapping can be heard from far away.
From 9 am to 4 pm, the day includes a presentation about the swans, workshop on how to photograph the swans, swan-viewing bus ride, hot buffet lunch at Camas Center for Community Wellness, and live raptor presentation along with all-day vendor and information booths. Cost ranges from $15 to $30. Discounts for seniors, children, groups of 5 or more, law enforcement, military, veterans, and first responders.
The event is co-hosted by the Natural Resources Department of the Kalispel Tribe of Indians and the Pend Oreille Region Tourism Alliance (PORTA).