GREAT FALLS — The City of Great Falls Park & Recreation Department will be releasing waterfowl back into Gibson Pond on Monday, April 18, at 10:30 a.m.
The release was originally scheduled for Friday, April 15, but has been delayed due to weather conditions.
The department says: "Bring your entire family, it’s always entertaining for kids of all ages. Park and Recreation staff takes care of the waterfowl over the winter months at their indoor location at the north end of Gibson Park. There they enjoy an indoor pond and are fed daily. Once they are released into Gibson Pond they are still fed on a daily basis by staff."
The annual event is usually attended by many people, especially families, who enjoy seeing the birds released back into the pond.
Each year in October, several city workers put on their waders and pick up rakes to walk around in the pond, nudging the flightless birds toward a pen. They are then loaded onto a truck and driven to the north side of the park and released inside their winter quarters, often referred to as the "Honker Hilton."
During the colder months, the birds are kept inside for their own safety as many have clipped wings. Park & Recreation staff care for the birds throughout the winter. The birds also have an indoor pond inside their winter residence.
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Here is video of the round-up from October 2021: