The Trumpeter Swan has the distinction of being the longest and heaviest living bird native to North America. It is also recognized as the heaviest flying bird in the world.
Trumpeter Swans are entirely white except for their black bills, legs, and feet. There is a black patch on their face, seemingly connecting their eyes to their bills. Their heads and neck may occasionally show some rust-brown coloring because of their contact with iron elements in wetland soils.
Juvenile Trumpeter Swans are mostly dusky-gray, with a pink center on their black bills.
- Cygnus buccinator
- Length: 58 – 72 in (147 – 183 cm)
- Weight: 401.6 oz (11381 g)
- Wingspan: 72 – 102 in (183 – 259 cm)
Trumpeter Swans breed in Alaska, Canada, and wetlands across northern US states and spend the winter in coastal and inland waters of northwestern and central US states.
Habitat And Diet
You can find Trumpeter Swans in marshes, lakes, and rivers with dense vegetation. They breed in open areas near shallow waters. They are sometimes seen on agricultural fields, too.
In water, Trumpeter Swans usually eat aquatic plants and vegetation, which they can reach with their bills underwater. With their long necks, they are able to reach plants in deeper water, even going as far as tipping, like a dabbling duck, to get at their food.
With their large and powerful bills, they can uproot aquatic plants and feed on them. When they visit agricultural fields, they also eat spilled or leftover grains and crops.
Trumpeter Swans Call:
Nests of Trumpeter Swans are almost always surrounded by water or close to it. It is the male that builds the nest by throwing grasses, grass-like plants, and other submerged vegetation over his shoulder, slowly building mounds of this material until he reaches the nesting site.
They also nest in beaver or muskrat lodges. The female will then lay four to six eggs that she will incubate for about four weeks until they hatch.
Trumpeter Swans generally mate for life. When nesting, there is always one adult that stays with the nest. They are both territorial and aggressive when it comes to protecting their nesting area.