Trumpeter Swan | Facts, Diet, Habitat & Pictures

Trumpeter Swan | Facts, Diet, Habitat & Pictures

Trumpeter Swan Overview


The Trumpeter Swan is an elegant and majestic bird with several distinctive features. It boasts a large, all-white plumage with a long, graceful neck. Its black bill is notably long and straight, and its face is framed by a small black mask around the eyes.

These swans have powerful wings and can span over 7 feet (2.1 meters) when fully extended. In flight, their wingbeats are slow and deliberate, contributing to their stately appearance.

Origins And Evolution

The Trumpeter Swan, Cygnus buccinator, holds a storied evolutionary history. It is the largest extant swan species and a native of North America. This magnificent bird has ancient roots, with ancestors dating back to the Miocene epoch, millions of years ago. Over time, it has adapted to its diverse habitats, which include lakes, rivers, and marshes across North America.

While once threatened by overhunting and habitat loss, conservation efforts have aided in their recovery. These efforts highlight the significance of preserving this iconic swan species in the rich tapestry of North America's natural heritage.

Behavior and Lifestyle

The Trumpeter Swan is known for its elegant and often solitary lifestyle. These swans are generally quiet, with their trumpeting calls being one of their few vocalizations. They are highly territorial during breeding season, often returning to the same nesting sites year after year.

Trumpeter Swans are primarily herbivorous, feeding on aquatic plants and occasionally grains. Their courtship displays involve synchronized swimming and head bobbing, strengthening pair bonds.

Trumpeter Swan Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Anseriformes
  • Family: Anatidae
  • Genus: Cygnus
  • Species: Cygnus buccinator

Trumpeter Swan Locations

  • Alaska
  • Western Canada
  • Northwestern United States
  • Northern Great Lakes Region
  • Northern Plains of the United States
  • Pacific Northwest
  • Western Mountain States

Fast Facts

  • Name: Trumpeter Swan
  • Scientific Name: Cygnus buccinator
  • Habitat: Wetland lakes
  • Diet: Aquatic plants
  • Physical Features: Majestic plumage
  • Nocturnal: Diurnal habits
  • Solitary: Often in pairs
  • Unique Order: Anseriformes, Anatidae
  • Lifespan: 20 years
  • Conservation Status: Least concern
  • Fun Facts: Trumpeting calls

Physical Characteristics

  • Color: White plumage
  • Skin Type: Feather-covered skin
  • Top Speed: Graceful glider
  • Lifespan: 20 years
  • Weight: Heavy waterfowl
  • Length: Majestic wingspan
  • Age of Sexual Maturity: 3-4 years
  • Age of Weaning: Rapid development

Trumpeter swan FAQs

Why are they called Trumpeter Swans?

They are named for their loud, trumpet-like calls, which are among the loudest of any bird.

Where are Trumpeter Swans found?

Trumpeter Swans are primarily found in North America, inhabiting various wetland habitats across the continent.

How big are Trumpeter Swans?

They are the largest swan species in the world, with adult wingspans reaching over 7 feet (2.1 meters) and lengths of up to 5.6 feet (1.7 meters).

What do Trumpeter Swans eat?

They are herbivorous and primarily feed on aquatic plants, including submerged and emergent vegetation.

Are Trumpeter Swans migratory birds?

Yes, they are migratory and often undertake long-distance migrations between breeding and wintering grounds.

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