Tundra Swans

Tundra Swans
Photo: Inge Curtis

Hereby begins a short series of our winter visitors.

The Tundra Swan is smaller than the other two swans found in Virginia. The Mute Swan was introduced and breeds here, but the Trumpeter Swan like the Tundra is a winter visitor. No prizes for guessing where it breeds. When birding in British winters, I sometimes saw the closely related sub-species Berwick’s Swan, which has a yellower bill.

They feed along the coast and inland waters, including the Chesapeake Bay and adjacent farmland. A healthy visiting population of about 120,000 exists in the East and about half as many again in the Far West, which accounts for why they are hunted.