I came across these Tundra Swans feeding in the winter snow melt that ponded in Thompson's corn field on a beautiful sunny day in March 2012.
The Tundra Swan Cygnus columbianus, formerly known as the Whistling Swan, is a large bird with white plumage and black legs, feet, and beak. However, when it is feeding in iron-rich areas, the feathers on its head and neck may take on a reddish tinge.
The male weighs on average 7.5 kg and can measure 1.3 m from bill to tail. The adult female is about the same size as the male but weighs slightly less, about 6.3 kg. The young of the year are smaller than the adults and have grey plumage, pinkish beaks with black tips, and pink legs and feet. It takes at least two years for adult plumage to grow in.
There are seven species of swans in the world. Two of these, the Tundra Swan and the Trumpeter Swan C. buccinator, are native to North America; their respective populations comprise 140 000 and 16 000 individuals. One non-native species, the Mute Swan, is found in North America,. People brought Mute Swans from Europe and Asia for ornamental display in parks and zoos, and now this species is found in the wild in certain parts of the continent. The Tundra Swan is the most common of the three species of swan found in Canada.
Although Trumpeter Swans are slightly larger than Tundra Swans, it is very difficult to tell the two species apart. At close range, a small yellow mark at the base of the bill, close to the eye, can be seen on the Tundra Swan. There is no such mark on the Trumpeter Swan.
I have added a soundtrack to the slideshow from a recording by John Feith.....thank you John....your recordings are the best.
Categories & Keywords
Keywords:Arctic Breeding, Spring Migration, Swan, Waterbird