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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

17 Amaze-wing Facts About The Trumpeter Swan For Kids

Trumpeter swan facts and information on their diet, conservation, and bill intrigue us.

The trumpeter swan (Cygnus buccinator) is a native bird of North America making its nest mounds on beaver dams, water bodies, such as lakes and ponds, and salt water islands.  These birds became a rare species by the late 1800s due to excessive hunting and use of their feathers in the fashion industry. However, these birds made a comeback by the turn of the century and are very common nowadays in North America, and even classified as of Least Concern on the IUCN Red List. Their diet mainly includes aquatic plants and vegetation and they have also been found to eat fish eggs. To know more information, facts, and descriptions of trumpeter swans, their spring migration, habitats, nest building, nest site, diet, conservation, and more, read this article.

If you like this article, you can also check out swan facts and swan goose facts.

Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a trumpeter swan?

A native of North America, trumpeter swans are members of the Anatidae family and the largest living species of waterfowl.  

What class of animal does a trumpeter swan belong to?

Trumpeter swans belong to the Aves class of the Animalia kingdom.

How many trumpeter swans are there in the world?

The total population number of trumpeter swans is approximately 45,000 individuals, and their numbers are slowly increasing every day.

Where does a trumpeter swan live?

These swans build their nests on land, always close to water, in areas with many rivers, lakes, ponds, streams, islands, wetlands with open water, and marshes. The water can be brackish, salt, or fresh.

What is a trumpeter swan habitat?

Trumpeter swans are indigenous birds of North America. They breed in the northern U.S., southern and central Alaska, and some areas of Canada. They can be found throughout the year in much of their breeding range. However, in keeping with seasonal changes, some birds migrate south to ice-free waters during the winter.

Who does trumpeter swan live with?

Trumpeter swans live in small groups, which include their own family members. The flock size also differs according to the season. The spring flock size might be half the size of that in fall as the breeding season is about to begin and all the young birds have left. These swans are extremely territorial during the mating season.

How long does a trumpeter swan live?

Trumpeter swans have an average life span of 24-33 years.

How do they reproduce?

Trumpeter swan pairs bond for life and are strictly monogamous. These swans always return to their previous mating partners at the beginning of the breeding season, which usually commences in March and continues until May. The process of courtship includes pairs quivering their wings, trumpeting, raising or spreading their wings simultaneously, and head bobbing. Female swans lay the eggs a clutch size of up to six eggs. The incubation period is about a month (32-37 days) and is largely done by the females. The cygnets spend their first day in their nest before they start swimming. Fledging occurs after three or four months and the parents look after their cygnets for a year until they become independent. Trumpeter swans attain sexual maturity between the ages of four and seven.

What is their conservation status?

The total population number of trumpeter swans is approximately 45,000 individuals, and their numbers are slowly increasing every day. According to the IUCN Red List, this species is classified as of Least Concern. However, habitat loss, human disturbance, and climate change do pose a threat to them.  

Trumpeter Swan Fun Facts

What do trumpeter swans look like?

Facts on conservation of the trumpeter swan bring us joy.

The trumpeter swan, Cygnus buccinator, is the biggest and heaviest species of waterbird in North America. Like all swans, both the female and male have the same white plumage. Their bills are solid black in color with a border of red on their lower jaws. They have angular wedge-shaped heads and the black color of their beaks appears to merge with their eyes. Baby swans, or cygnets, have gray feathers on their heads and necks until they are one or two years of age.

How cute are they?

Baby trumpeter swans, called cygnets, are very cute. Adult swans with their white plumage look really beautiful and majestic.

How do they communicate?

These swans make a variety of sounds and are best known for their bugle call. Besides this call, they also use movements, like head bobbing, to warn others of disturbances or when preparing for flight.

How big is a trumpeter swan?

Trumpeter swans are the largest living species of waterfowl. These native North American birds are both the longest and heaviest. Adults usually measure 4ft 6 in –5 ft 5 in (138–165 cm) long, though some of the larger males can exceed 5 ft 11 in (180 cm) in total length.

How fast can a trumpeter swan run?

Trumpeter swans can run at a great speed of 30mph (48kph) over the water's surface, flapping their wings until they gain enough pace to take off. They fly at an average speed of 18-30 mph, though they have been clocked flying at 50-60 mph with a tailwind while flying in flocks. They fly at a great elevation of 6,000 - 8,000 feet.

How much does a trumpeter swan weigh?

An adult trumpeter swan typically weighs around 15–30 lb (7–13.6 kg). However, the average weights of males range from 24-28 lb (10.9-12.7 kg) and in females ranges from 21-23 lb (9.4 -10.3 kg) due to seasonal variation based on age and accessibility of food.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Male trumpeter swans are known as cobs and female trumpeter swans are known as pens.

What would you call a baby trumpeter swan?

Baby trumpeter swans are called cygnets.

What do they eat?

Aquatic plants such as sago pondweed, tubers of duck potato, as well as fish eggs are important food for the trumpeter swan. They also feed on the seeds, stems, and leaves of other aquatic plants.

Are they dangerous?

Trumpeter swans are perceived to be extremely territorial especially during the breeding season. These birds can be very aggressive towards rivals, other swans, or any animal that is threatening to invade their space. A mated, mature, territorial nesting pair of trumpeter swans will chase off, and might even kill, geese and other waterfowl in their nesting marsh. This violent behavior is only exhibited during the season of building nests and mating (from March to October).  

Would they make a good pet?

These swans require specialized care and take a long time to breed. They are classified in some states of the United States as invasive species and hence are very expensive. Thus they are not a very good choice of pets.

Did you know...

A group of swans in flight is called a wedge or a bevy.

Trumpeter swans are one of the heaviest living animals capable of flying. They are the heaviest flying birds in the world in terms of average mass.

By the late 1800s, hunters and feather collectors had caused the population of the swans to decline. However, they made a comeback in the United States in the twentieth century, especially in Minnesota and Michigan. However, the population of trumpeter swans remains low in New York.  

What is the difference between a tundra swan and a trumpeter swan?

Tundra swans and trumpeter swans look really similar in terms of appearance and it is quite hard to differentiate between them. You need to really observe them closely to tell them apart. A few distinctive characteristics between the two are as follows.

The best indicator to separate between the two species of swans is their vocal noises and calls. Tundra swans make a variety of bugling calls that are smoother and higher pitched than those of the trumpeter swans.

Trumpeter swans nearly always have solid black bills, with the black markings extending to their eyes, while the bill of a tundra swan is mostly black and usually has a yellow spot at the base.

Trumpeter swans are larger than tundra swans.

Where do trumpeter swans migrate to?

Trumpeter swans migrate to the eastern part of the northwest states in the United States, especially to the north Puget Sound region of northwest Washington State. They have even been observed as far south as Pagosa Springs, Colorado, and to the Red Rock Lakes area of Montana, and to the southern tier of Canada. Historically, they ranged as far south as southern California and Texas.  

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including tufted titmouse facts and barn owl facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable trumpeter swan coloring pages.

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