Tundra Swan

Cygnus columbianus

Order

ANSERIFORMES

Family

Ducks, Geese and Swans (Anatidae)

Code 4

TUSW

Code 6

CYGCOL

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Tundra Swan has a large range, estimated globally at 100,000 to 1,000,000 square kilometers. Native to Europe, Asia and North America, this bird prefers grassland and wetland ecosystems. The global population of this bird is estimated at 300,000 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Tundra Swan is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Tundra Swan: This small swan is completely snowy white. Its head and neck is often stained rust-brown from ferrous minerals in marsh soils. It has a black bill with a yellow spot at the base and black legs and feet. Diet includes aquatic vegetation and grass. Strong direct flight on steady wing beats. Flies in straight line or V formation. Most common swan in North America. Sexes are similar.

 

Range and Habitat

Tundra Swan: Breeds in Alaska and far northern Canada east to Baffin Island. Spends winters from southern Alaska south to Nevada, Utah, and Baja California and on mid-Atlantic coast; rarely found on the Gulf coast of Texas and occasionally on the Great Lakes. Preferred habitats include tundra, marshy lakes, and bays.

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Tundra Swan SONGS AND CALLS

Tundra Swan A1

"Hoo-ho-hoo" calls from a pair of birds in a large flock.

Tundra Swan A2

"Hoh" calls from a bird landing near a large flock.

Similar Sounding

Trumpeter Swan A1

Typical "oh-OH" trumpeting calls as a small flock flies overhead.


Voice Text

"Hoo-ho-hoo"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • They fly in v-shaped formations and may achieve speeds up to 100 miles an hour with a tail wind.
  • The Tundra Swan used to be called the Whistling Swan. The species' former name referred to the sound made by the slow, powerful beating of their wings in flight.
  • They usually form a pair and "go steady" for a year before breeding.
  • A group of swans has many collective nouns, including a "ballet", "bevy", "drift", "regatta", and "school" of swans.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

RANGE MAP HAWAII

About this Hawaii Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across the Hawaiian island.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Yury Lisyak

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