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SCIENTIFIC NAME: Cygnus cygnus buccinator
HABITAT: Water areas of the most northern United States and Canada.
CONSERVATION STATUS: Least Concern
FUN FACT: Trumpeter Swans were on the verge of extinction in the 1900’s because of a large trade in swan skins and feathers. The United States population was down to 69 birds in 1932. Through the establishment of refuges, conservation efforts and reintroduction efforts the population has reached nearly 3,000 birds in the lower 48 states and nearly 12,000 in Alaska. It was removed from the Endangered Species List in the mid 1970’s
DIET: The adult diet consists of almost all vegetation including leafy parts, stems, seeds, and tubers of aquatic plants. Crustaceans and occasionally small vertebrates make up part of the swan’s diet also. In dry land locations they will eat grasses and other pasture plants.
DESCRIPTION: The largest of the species of swans, the adult Trumpeter can grow to a length of 58 ½ - 72”, (including their neck), weigh up to 28 lbs. and have an 8’ wing span. Unlike ducks, the male and the slightly smaller female Trumpeter swan are similar in color, with plumage that is entirely white. Juveniles have some gray plumage up to 1 year after hatching. The lack of yellow in the swan’s bill, and the presence of a narrow, flesh colored stripe at the base of the mandible are identifying characteristics. The black bill is flattened, broad and rounded at the tip with fine lamellae at the edges to aid the bird in food handling and straining organisms from the water. The iris is dark brown, and legs and feet are black. When not alert they hold their neck in a slightly curved drooping position with a subtle bend at the base.
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