Apart from its distinct sound, it is the heaviest bird that is native to North America and almost came to the brink of extinction in the early 20th century, but its numbers have recovered from then on. We dig deeper to further come up with interesting facts about this large waterfowl.
● The trumpeter swan is generally pure white in color. However, its head and necks are often stained due to contact with the wetland bottoms during feeding. Cygnets (young ones) are usually gray in color, which whitens over time.
● A young cygnet’s bill is mostly pink with black color at the base. Their feet are grayish-yellow in color. In adults, the bills, legs, and feet are all black. The trumpeter’s iris is usually brown in color. It is harder to distinguish between male and female trumpeter swans as they look similar. However, male swans are larger than the female ones.
● They prepare their nests on a slightly elevated ground near a water body. Nests are usually in the shape of a large bowl, made with grass, emergent vegetation such as cattail or bulrush, and some feathers.
● A trumpeter swan defends itself with its large wings. It hits or attacks the predators and intruders with its wings by bumping into them.
● During the mating season, trumpeters become territorial. They become violent towards competitors, other swans, or animals that invade their space.
● In the breeding season, they perform a mating ritual including calls, spreading wings, and head bobbing to reunite with the old mate or attract a new one. Trumpeter swans are considered monogamous as they have same mate in every breeding season. Most pairs are formed at the age of 4 to 7 years. The process can start as early as 2-4 years of their age. On the other hand, some swans may not form a pair till the age of 20 years. Though monogamous, ‘divorces’ are not unheard of among them. Mostly, after their partner’s death, male swans do not mate again for the rest of their lives.