Whooper swan facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Whooper swan
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Subfamily: Anserinae
Tribe: Cygnini
Genus: Cygnus
Species: C. cygnus
Binomial name
Cygnus cygnus
(Linnaeus, 1758)
Range of C. cygnus      Breeding range     Year-round range     Wintering range

The whooper swan (Cygnus cygnus), is a large white bird which lives in Europe and Asia. It is the Eurasian counterpart of the North American trumpeter swan. Francis Willughby and John Ray's Ornithology of 1676 referred to the this swan as "the Elk, Hooper, or wild Swan".

Description

Minikuiahirunoko
Young whooper swan.
Whooper Swan feets
Legs and feet are black.

An adult whooper swan weighs 9-11 kg. It is 140-160 cm long (including neck and head) and it has a wingspan of 205-235 cm. Young swans are grey-brown. They have a pink and black beak. The young get pale grey in end of their first summer. They get the white adult colour before their second winter. Male and female swans look otherwise similar, but the males are larger.

The whooper swan, Bewick's swan and mute swan look quite similar, but the details are different. Whooper swan is clearly larger than Bewick's swan. When it lands it water or takes off it slides longer distances.


Mute swan, whooper swan, bewick swan
Whooper1
Whooper swan bill
Cygnus cygnus 070416 IOL
Whooper swan straight neck and short tail.
Swan portrait
Mute swan: hump and orange bill
Schwan
Mute swan: curved neck and long tail.
Bewicks.head.arp
Bewick swan bill
Cygnus bewickii 01
Bevick swan short neck and horizntal tail.

Behaviour

Whooper swans eat mainly plants growing in water: leaves, stems and roots. During the winter they also eat grain and vegetables from the fields. Young birds often eat insects.

The nest is a large pile of plant matter built on dry ground or on small islands near lakeshore. The same nest mound may be used over many years although it is often repaired and new material is added.

Distribution

Whooper swans spends their summer in Northern Europe and Asia. For winter they migrate to coasts where sea does not freeze.

In year 2006 it was estimated, that there are more than 180,000 whooper swans in the world. Out of these, 10,000-100,000 pairs breed in Russia. One to ten thousand birds spend also their winter in Russia.

Images for kids


Whooper swan Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.