Every winter, hundreds of trumpeter swans migrate from their breeding grounds in Wisconsin to the Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary, just across the Mississippi River from Alton.
This year there are about 900 of them, a record for our area.
On a recent cold, blustery St. Louis morning, I got up well before dawn to drive the 20 miles north to the sanctuary and record this audio postcard.
The Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary is opening a new information center overlooking the Mississippi River in West Alton.
Riverlands program manager Charlie Deutsch of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the 3,700-acre sanctuary attracts tens of thousands of migratory birds every year.
St. Louis Public Radio is a service of the University of Missouri-St. Louis.