Migrating swans arriving in Yukon's Southern Lakes area

A popular viewing area near Whitehorse re-opens for the season, just as swans are returning.

The swans are returning to McLintock Bay, just outside Whitehorse, where a popular viewing area opened Tuesday.

Swan Haven was given a face-lift over the winter. Viewing areas were upgraded and new interpretative exhibits were developed.

Wildlife Viewing Biologist, Carrie McClelland, says Swan Haven provides an important teaching aid.

“These areas of early spring open water are critical for migratory birds and they’re the only place the birds can rest and feed and, if we get too close, if we let the dogs run off leash, if you put your boat in the water, if you snow machine on the ice close to shore, then it disrupts them and they can die,” McClelland says.

Swan Haven has been in operation for 20 years. More than 2,000 migrating birds can land in the Southern Lakes in the spring. The swans rest and feed in the first area of open water in the region, on the migratory trip to their northern nesting grounds.