The Bewick Swan (Cygnus columbianus bewickii) in the Birds.
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Bewick Swan
Cygnus columbianus bewickii


The Bewick Swan (Cygnus columbianus bewickii) is natural to Europe and Asia. It nests on the extreme north of these continents during spring. In fall it moves to other regions in these continents where the weather is not as cold.


During winter they can be found in inland lakes, marshes, rivers and bays. During this time in Japan they are seen on the fields.


By paddling their legs they expose the roots of the aquatic plants on the bottom. Then the head and neck are submerged to get the roots and other parts of the underwater vegetation. Other water birds, like ducks, take advantage of the work done by these swans and follow them as they feed.

In winter, since the mid 1900's, as other species within the family, this swan has changed to more terrestrial feeding; this behavior has increased ever since.


This is the smallest of the northern white swans. Still it reaches a length of four feet six inches. The average weight of the males is fourteen pounds, maximum of seventeen pounds. The average for the females is twelve and a half pounds.

Adults of both sexes have white plumage.


Besides the smaller size, the Bewick Swan is identified from other white swans by the yellow mark it has on the beak's base. The mark varies in shape and size among the members of the species, however, the color is well defined and more extensive than in the Tundra Swan, but not as much as in the Whooper Swan.


The Bewick Swan is also called “Bewick's Swan”. In Spanish it is known as “Cisne Chico” and “Cisne Pequeño”.

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Last revision: February 1, 2007
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