The Trumpeter Swan has a white plumage with a black beak marked with salmon-pink along the mouth-line, the black extends from the beak to the front of the eye, the feet are usually a grey-black. The female (Pen) closely resembles the male (Cob) but is slightly smaller. They look similar to the Whistling Swan as both are white with a black beak and legs but the Whistling Swan is slightly smaller, has a different shaped beak and usually has a small yellow patch in front of the eye.
The largest of North American waterfowl, this Swan is resident throughout much of its range, but migratory in other parts. Its was reduced to near extinction by the early 20th century, but it is relatively common today.
Size: – Typical Adult is 57-64 inches.
Food: – Mainly aquatic plants, duckweed, pond weeds, but will also graze in crop fields. They will also eat animal matter such as insect larvae, worms, and molluscs.
Habitat: – Lakes, rivers, ponds in north west America, Alaska, Canada and they migrate to the Pacific coast. Winters in lakes, streams, springs, rivers, and reservoirs.
Breeding Season: – Late April to late May. Breeds in freshwater marshes and along ponds and lakes. Nest a large open bowl, made of aquatic vegetation, grasses, and sedges, lined with down and some body feathers. Usually placed on slightly elevated sites surrounded by water, such as a muskrat mound, beaver lodge, or small island.
Eggs: – 4 to 7 (white color).
Notes: – This Swan was heavily hunted for food and also their feathers in the 19th and early 20th century causing a severe decline in their numbers. Its largest flight feathers made what were considered to be the best quality quill pens. However, they have now increased rapidly in population due to protection. They are back from the brink of extinction and into the wild once again! Where They thrive, so do countless other species, sustaining whole and healthy ecosystems. One of the best ways to identify a this swan is by its deep trumpet-like call.
They form pair bonds when they are three or four years old. The pair stays together throughout the year, moving together in migratory populations. They are assumed to mate for life, but some individuals do switch mates over their lifetimes. Some males that lost their mates did not mate again.
Swans can live a long time and have been known to live longer than 24 years, and one captive individual lived to be 32.