Larger than Tundra Swan, with a flatter head and a heavier, all-black bill. Black on lores wider, embracing the eyes and lacking the yellow basal spot (some Tundra Swans may also lack this spot).
Lakes, ponds, large rivers; in winter, also bays.
Favors large but shallow freshwater ponds or wide, slow-flowing rivers, with lots of vegetation. Most of current range is in forested regions, but at one time was also common on northern prairies.
Mostly plant material. Adults eat mainly stems, leaves, and roots of aquatic plants, including pondweed, sedges, rushes, arrowlea
f, wild celery, bulrush, burreed, and many others. May eat terrestrial grasses and waste crops in winter. Young eat many insects and other small invertebrates, mainly during first 2 weeks after hatching.
Behavior: Takes food from underwater or on or above waters surface; sometimes feeds on land, especially in winter. To forage in deeper water, swans upend with tail up and neck extending straight down, finding food by touch with bill.
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence 30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size may be moderately small to large, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from birdlife.org]
Usually forms pairs at age 2-4 years, but nests for first time at age 4-7 years. Often mates for life.
Site is surrounded by water, as on small island, beaver or muskrat house, floating platform. Nest (built by both sexes, although female may do most of work) is a low mound of plant material, several feet in diameter, with a depressed bowl in the center.
Same nest may be used in subsequent years.
Clutch 4-6, up to 9. Whitish, becoming nest-stained. Female does most of incubating but male often does some; eggs hatch in 32-37 days.
Young: Can swim when less than 1 day old. Both adults tend young, leading them to feeding sites. Young are not fully capable of flight until 3-4 months after hatching. 1 brood per year.
Northwestern North America. Migration:
Most southern populations are non-migratory. Northern Trumpeters move south in late fall as waters begin to freeze. Flocks often fly low in V-formation. Spring migration begins early, birds often reaching nesting territory before waters are free of ice.
- spanwidth min.: 210 cm
- spanwidth max.: 230 cm
- size min.: 150 cm
- size max.: 180 cm
- incubation min.: 33 days
- incubation max.: 37 days
- fledging min.: 84 days
- fledging max.: 120 days
- broods 1
- eggs min.: 4
- eggs max.: 8
- Conservation Status