For many residents of Lambton County, the beginning of spring is often associated with the return of the tundra swans. Once the tundra swans start to arrive spring is not far behind.

This year’s Return of the Swans Festival at the Lambton Heritage Museum will offer much for the family to do, whether the swans co-operate or not.

Return of the Swans

We cannot predict exactly when the swans will be in the area, but once they have been sighted in the area we will be celebrating with special programming at the Lambton Heritage Museum! Check out our migration calendar for daily updates about how many swans have been spotted in the area. While you are visiting the swans on the Thedford Bog, come by the Lambton Heritage Museum for great exhibits and excellent family activities, including:

  • Exploring interpretive displays
  • Seeing a tundra swan up close
  • Discovering the story behind the Thedford Bog
  • Learning about the tundra swan’s migration story
  • Testing your knowledge with an interactive quiz
  • Enjoying craft time with step-by-step instructions on folding an origami swan

During March Break, we will be providing access to Makerspace equipment from Lambton County Library. Bring your school age children to try their hands at a button maker or programming an ozobot, a pocket-sized robot. This special programming will be available March 11-15 from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm.

In a good year, there may be 15,000 individual birds resting on the bog, attracted by the melt water of spring and the remnants of the prior year’s corn crop. The first sound to be heard is the soft hoo-hoo-hoo, as the tundra swans glide effortlessly down to feed on flooded fields that mark the bottom of old Lake Smith.

The Lambton Shores area is fortunate to have a natural ‘staging’ place for the tundra swans behind the Lambton Heritage Museum property. This land is locally known as the Thedford Bog. Before it was drained for farming, this huge wetland was a stop-over for migrating birds. Each spring the fields continue to flood and the corn and bean stubble from the previous year’s harvest provides food for the traveling waterfowl. Depending on weather and field conditions, visitors can sometimes see thousands of swans, ducks and geese in their natural habitat. It is always best to call ahead or check the website as the swans can arrive as early as mid-February or as late as mid-March.

 

Tundraswan1

The Tundra Swan

True to its name, the Tundra Swan breeds on the high tundra of the Canadian Arctic.

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many swans flying

Swan Migration

Each year ‘Cygnus Columbianus’ makes a 6000 km round trip on its migration route.

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many swans flying

Thedford Bog

Now prime agricultural land, it was once a single massive wetland called Lake Smith.

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swan area map cropped

click to download pdf map of swan staging areas

One of the best places to view the swans is behind the museum along Greenway and Goosemarsh Roads. Bring your binoculars as the swans are sometimes a good distance back from the road.

To find out how many swans are in the area or for help planning your visit to the Return of the Swans Festival call the Lambton Heritage Museum at 519-243-2600.

 

Also at the Museum

Me, You & Us
March 1 – March 17, 2019

 

Welcome, Meegwech! Suellen Evoy-Oozeer with the support of Susan Angela Bressette created this community art project to build bridges across divides, open hearts and create a new understanding based on compassion and trust. This work resulted in an art exhibit of 27 portraits to be publicly displayed.