A Trumpeter Swan is a fun bird to see while bird watching. Below are some tips to help you identify Trumpeter Swans. We have also put together a list of fun Trumpeter Swan t-shirts, Trumpeter Swan bird patches, birdhouses, bird feeders, binoculars, stickers, and other fun bird watching items.
About Trumpeter Swans
Trumpeter Swans are the largest waterfowl in North America. The 20th century saw them almost driven to extinction. However, they have since had a healthy and rapid comeback. This is mainly attributed to the conservation efforts by conservationists. They are also one of the heaviest flying birds in North America. Some of their distinctive features include:
Description and Identification
Trumpeter Swans are massive birds that are the largest surviving species of waterfowl in North
America. These swans are also the longest and heaviest birds in this region. Trumpeter Swans are
generally 54-65 inches long with an enormous wingspan of 73-98 inches. Exceptionally large male
Trumpeter Swans can exceed 71 inches in length. Males are about 10.9-12.7kg in weight, making
them the heaviest living birds that are capable of flight. These swans also have the largest bills in
comparison to other waterfowl. The plumage of adult Trumpeter Swans is entirely white in color.
Younglings are colored light-gray, and take about a year to gain a completely white-colored
plumage. Trumpeter Swans have earned their name due to their loud and musical calls which
closely resemble the sound of a trumpet. These birds can be seen swimming in water bodies with
an upright posture.
Trumpeter Swan Color Pattern
Adults are entirely white while juveniles are primarily gray-brown. Adults have black legs and eyes and a large black bill. On the other hand, juveniles have a pink center on their black bill.
Trumpeter Swan Size
Trumpeter Swans are large and bulky flying waterfowl. They have a long neck that is habitually held straight both in flight and on water. They have large, gently sloping bills. Although larger than a tundra swan, they are dwarfed by a mute swan.
The relative size of both sexes
- Length range: 54.3-62.2 in (138-158 cm)
- Weight: 271.6-448-0 oz (7700-12700 g)
- Wingspan range: 79.9 in (203 cm)
Trumpeter Swan Behavior
They forage by submerging their heads in shallow water to reach for aquatic vegetation. Sometimes, they forage by dabbling. On land, they frequent cultivated land to feed on leftover grains. Pairs are formed when they are 2-4 years old but nest at around 4-7 years. They are known to mate for life.
Trumpeter Swan Food
Trumpeter Swans are omnivores that mainly feed on plant matter. Pondweeds, marestail, rushes,
sedges, duckweed, algae, and eelgrass make up a major portion of the vegetation these swans
consume. Aquatic insects, fish eggs, and small fish are a part of their limited animal diet. During
winter, these birds add a number of berries such as lupine, cranberries, broom, wheatgrass,
blueberries into their diet.
They mostly feed on plant material. Adults feed heavily on leaves, stems, and roots of plants such as bulrush, pondweed, rushes, sedges, etc. In winter, they can feed on waste crops and other plants. Young ones mainly feed on insects.
Trumpeter Swan Habitat
Trumpeter Swans usually inhabit shallow and still waterbodies with an abundance of aquatic
vegetation. As these birds are extremely heavy, they need a minimum of 100 yards of water for
taking off into the air. Marshes, lakes, bogs, farm ponds, and glacial ponds are common breeding
sites for Trumpeter Swans. During winter, these birds seek waterbodies that are free of ice. These
include springs, streams, reservoirs, and rivers.
Trumpeter Swans mostly breed in shallow calm freshwater bodies with thriving aquatic plants. They need to take a 100 yards run for them to become airborne and need small islands or beaver dens on which to nest. They winter along freshwater rivers, streams, reservoirs, and springs with abundant aquatic plants.
Range and Migration
Trumpeter Swans are the heaviest birds that are found in North America. Although these swans
are largely concentrated in Alaska, they can also be found in the northern U.S. and Canada. Some of
these swans are non-migratory. These birds generally migrate in V-shaped flocks during winter.
Although these birds generally do not migrate farther ahead than Colorado, historically Trumpeter
Swans have been spotted migrating as far as Southern California and Texas. The non-migratory
Trumpeter Swans are located in Oregon where they have been artificially introduced to enhance
small water bodies with their elegant beauty. These birds generally do not have a tendency for
vagrancy, but in the past vagrant, Trumpeter Swans have been spotted in the UK.
Trumpeter Swan Lifecycle
The females lay 4-6 eggs and incubation is done mainly by the females although males can sometimes do it. The incubation takes place for 32-37 days. The young ones can swim shortly after hatching. They are tended to by their parents and led to feeding sites.
Trumpeter Swan Nesting
Trumpeter Swans are monogamous birds that form very strong bonds with their mates. During
the breeding season, these birds reunite with their mates. Both members of the pair participate in nest
construction which is a process that can take up to 7 weeks. Females are more actively involved in
the nest-building process. These birds construct their nest out of sedges, grasses, and available
aquatic vegetation. Female Trumpeter Swans lay from 4-6 eggs which are incubated for 32-37
days. Both males and females provide ample care and attention to their younglings for at least the
Bird Watching Academy & Camp Subscription Boxes
At Bird Watching Academy & Camp we help kids, youth, and adults get excited and involved in bird watching. We have several monthly subscription boxes that you can subscribe to. Our monthly subscription boxes help kids, youth, and adults learn about birds, bird watching, and bird conservation.
Bird Watching Binoculars for Identifying Trumpeter Swans
The most common types of bird-watching binoculars for viewing Trumpeter Swans are 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. Bird Watching Academy & Camp sells really nice 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. You can view and purchase them here.
Trumpeter Swan T-shirts
If you love the Trumpeter Swan you should purchase a Bird Watching Academy & Camp T-shirt. To help support bird conservation we donate 10 percent to bird conservation activities.
Trumpeter Swan Iron On Patches
Kids, Youth, and Adults love to collect our Bird Watching Academy & Camp iron-on patches. Our bird-watching patches help you keep track of the birds you have seen and identified. You can also display the patches on our Bird Watching Academy & Camp banners.
The Trumpeter Swan is a great iron-on patch to start your collection with. The patches are durable and can be sewn on or ironed on to just about anything.
Trumpeter Swan Stickers
Stickers are a great way for you to display your love for bird watching and the Trumpeter Swan. We sell a monthly subscription sticker pack. The sticker packs have 12 bird stickers. These sticker packs will help your kids learn new birds every month.
Bird Feeders for Trumpeter Swans
There are many types of bird feeders. Here are our favorite bird feeders for your backyard. We use all of these bird feeders currently. Kids will have a great time watching birds eat at these bird feeders. Using this collection of bird feeders will provide a wide variety and many types of birds.
Best Bird Houses for Trumpeter Swans
There are many types of birdhouses. Building a birdhouse is always fun but can be frustrating. These 4 birdhouses have become our favorites. Getting a birdhouse for kids to watch birds grow is always fun. We spent a little extra money on these birdhouses but they have been worth the higher price and look great.