A Celebration of Swans

Swans in flight.

2021 A Celebration of Swans

Yukon's premier birding festival brings residents and visitors alike out to great swan viewing areas to welcome spring to the North. The mass migration of tens of thousands of swans, ducks, and geese is not to be missed.

The Swan Haven Interpretive Centre, is the hub of the festival, and is open April 1 to May 2 on weeknights from 5 to 9 p.m., or weekends and holidays from 12 to 7 p.m.

Events include art workshops, presentations, guided hikes and more!

Important update (12:45 p.m., April 9, 2021) 

The interpretive centre will be closed Friday, April 9, 2021 from 5 to 9 p.m. It will open as scheduled at 12 p.m. on Saturday, April 10, 2021.

Festival poster

Every year a collectible poster is produced featuring an art piece that celebrates spring. Thousands of these posters are distributed to communities across Yukon.

The winner of this year's contest is Tara Easley.

See the poster and read about the artist.

Posters are available at 10 Burns Road and Swan Haven interpretive centre. 

Student art contest

A wildlife-themed art contest for students in Grades 2 to 6. The 2021 contest is now closed.

The 2021 art submissions are now on display at the Swan Haven Interpretive Centre for the month of April.

The top ten entries are chosen by visitors to Swan Haven in April and winners receive great prizes.


Workshop in front of the Swan Haven Interpretive Centre.
All programming will be held outside this year while following the Chief Medical Officer of Health guidelines regarding COVID-19. Some events will be by registration only. Registration will open one week prior to the event. If events are full, please email wildlife.viewing@yukon.ca or call 867-667-8291 to be put on a waitlist. 

Every Saturday and Sunday: Guided walks, 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m.

Location: Swan Haven

Join Swan Haven interpreters for a walk on the ice and explore the sights and sounds of spring. 

April 5: Spiritual Celebration of Swans, 11 a.m.

Location: Swan Haven

All are welcome at this special time to give thanks for the return of spring. Join in song and prayer during this multi-faith service while enjoying time for quiet reflection with the swans.

Register here

April 7: Beading workshop, 5 to 8 p.m.

Location: Swan Haven

Join Montana and Delaney Prysnuk from Copper Caribou in beading a swan key chain.

Register here.

April 10: Bird ID walk, 10 to 11:30 a.m. 

Location: Swan Haven

Join interpreter Jukka Jantunen on a walk along the shoreline as he helps identify our feathered friends that make their home in Yukon.

Register here

April 13: Nest box building workshop, 6 to 9 p.m.

Location: Yukonstruct

Learn about Yukon's cavity-nesting bird population, tips about avoiding squirrels, and how to pick a good spot to mount your bird box. The skilled folks at Yukonstruct will guide you through the assembly of your very own nesting box for small birds such as chickadees and nuthatches. Register here.

April 17 to 18: Family weekend, 12 to 3 p.m.       

Location: Swan Haven

The whole family is welcome to an afternoon of swan watching and fun activities. Vote for your favourite artwork, do a scavenger hunt, play games and immerse yourself in the cacophony of swan sounds. 

April 19: Bat house building workshop, 6 to 9 p.m.

Location: Yukonstruct.

Learn about the biology and conservation of these small, flying mosquito-eaters, how bat houses are helpful, and where to place your bat house. Yukonstruct woodworking enthusiasts will help you to properly assemble your bat house. Register here

April 24: Swan bus, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.     

Location: Whitehorse

Need a ride to Swan Haven? Jump o the swan bus at 1 p.m. in Whitehorse. The bus will depart Swan Haven again at 4 p.m. 

Register here

April 24: Bird banding 101, 3:30 to 5 p.m.        

Location: Swan Haven

Come learn about Yukon's three bird banding stations from the experts themselves. Weather permitting, members of the Society of Yukon Bird Observatories will demonstrate banding techniques.

Register here

April 25: Swan bus, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.     

Location: Whitehorse

Need a ride to Swan Haven? Jump o the swan bus at 1 p.m. in Whitehorse. The bus will depart Swan Haven again at 4 p.m.

Register here

April 28: Brownie Mountain hike, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Location: Marsh Lake

This short but steep hike is also known as M'Clintock West Ridge. We'll get an elevated view of Swan Haven and M'Clintock Bay in the lovely evening light. Requires walking 2 km over very steep, uneven terrain. Review trail description at yukonhiking.ca.

Register here.

May 1: Shorebird walk, 10 to 11:30 a.m.  

Location: Swan Haven

Move over swans, it's shorebird time! The shores of Swan Haven boast much more than swans and ducks. Sandpipers and snipes, yellowlegs and godwits, interpreter Jukka Jantunen will sort it all out during a walk and talk. Rubber boots are recommended.

Register here

May 2: Watercolour landscape workshop, 1 to 3 p.m.

Location: Swan Haven

Local artist Daphne Mennell will be on hand to share techniques with aspiring artists. Materials will be provided. No experience is required. Please arrive at the start time to receive necessary instructions.

Register here

May 15: Dagay (swan) walk, 12 noon to 4 p.m. 

Location: Burwash Landing

Bring your lunch to Kluane and enjoy a guided walk with Mary Jane Johnson and an Elder from Kluane First Nation. Learn about the dagay (swans) of Jedali and enjoy a cup of hot tea and bannock at the end of the day. Warm layers and rubber boots are a must. Meet at the Kluane Museum of History.

Note: Consider the risk before travelling between communities. If you decide to go, follow the guidelines when you arrive. Please check the Council of Yukon First Nations travel advisory page before travelling to any communities.

Register here

Swan counts

Swans: 906

Last updated at 2:30 p.m. on April 27, 2021. 

See the most up-to-date count along with counts of all birds sighted at Marsh Lake, M'Clintock Bay.

Swans at Swan Haven.

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