A Celebration of Swans

A Celebration of Swans is Yukon’s premier birding festival featuring thousands of migrating Trumpeter Swans and other birds. You can take part in events across southern Yukon in spring and visit the Swan Haven Interpretive Centre.

Festival events

A detailed list of activities is included in our spring calendar of events. This calendar was mailed to Yukoners on March 27. You can also visit our events page to find all festival events.

Poster art contest

The 2019 festival poster is now available, free.

Swan counts

Monday, April 22, 2019: 1,169 swans (1,116 Trumpeter, 53 Tundra)

On Friday, April 12, Swan Haven hosted 2,763 Trumpeter Swans, breaking the all-time high count record at the site. The next day the record was broken again –  3,076 swans (2,931 Trumpeter and 145 Tundra). The April 14 count was 2,221 swans. Counts greater than 2,000 swans are very uncommon at Swan Haven. 

All birds of all species are counted daily and posted on eBird.org.

Visit the Swan Haven Interpretive Centre

Thousands of swans, ducks and geese rest and feed on M'Clintock Bay each April. Enjoy this spring wonder at the Swan Haven Interpretive Centre.

Hours

The interpretive centre is open daily from April 1 to May 5, 2019.

Monday to Friday from 5 to 9 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday and holidays from noon to 7 p.m. (April 19 and 22 are holidays.)

Facilities

  • a heated interpretive centre;
  • an outhouse (pit toilet) is available on site; and
  • ramp access to our boardwalk and viewing platform.

Learning

  • activities for all ages;
  • indoor and outdoor interpretive panels; 
  • daily swan counts; 
  • a 500-metre shoreline trail with views of the birds. The trail is packed, wet sand and ice.

How to get here

Swan Haven is located on the shores of M’Clintock Bay on Marsh Lake. 

Drive from Whitehorse

Take the Alaska Highway south. You’ll reach the North M’Clintock Subdivision and Swan Haven Drive in about 40 km. Turn right on Swan Haven Drive and follow it for 2 km until you reach the interpretive centre.

You've driven past Swan Haven Drive if you see any of these features on the Alaska Highway:

  • M'Clintock River Bridge
  • Army Beach
  • Marsh Lake Campground

Yukon Rideshare

Yukon Rideshare is a free resource that helps you connect with people in your community to carpool, take transit, cycle or walk together. 

What to bring

  • Warm clothing. The wind can be cold off the bay, even if it’s warm in town.
  • Boots. The ground can be soft, muddy and slushy along the shoreline trail.
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen. The glare off the ice is hard on the eyes.
  • Food. There are no stores or restaurants in the area.
  • Drinking water. There is no running water on site.
  • Binoculars. It’s important to maintain your distance from the birds.
  • Camera. You’re going to want to take a picture.

School program

Each spring, hundreds of students participate in hands-on activities and games in our spectacular outdoor classroom at Swan Haven. For more information and to book your class, visit the Yukon Wildlife Preserve.

Student art contest

A wildlife-themed art contest for students in Grades 2 to 6. Art will be displayed at the Swan Haven Interpretive Centre during the month of April. The entry deadline is March 26, 2019. Late entries will be accepted.

To enter

Submit art to:

Government of Yukon
Wildlife Viewing Program
Box 2703 (V-5R)
Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 2C6

Each piece must include the following information on the back:

  • student’s full name;
  • school name;
  • grade; and
  • teacher’s name.

 

Any medium accepted.

The top ten entries will be chosen by visitors to Swan Haven in April. Winners receive great prizes and their art will be displayed at the Canada Games Centre during the month of May.

Contact: 

For questions about A Celebration of Swans email wildlife.viewing@gov.yk.ca or phone: 867-667-8291 or toll free in Yukon: 1-800-661-0408, ext. 8291.