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Tundra Swan
Cygnus columbianus columbianus

Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus columbianus), small yellow mark next to the eye.
Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus columbianus),
small yellow mark next to the eye.


The Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus columbianus) is natural to North America. During spring it breeds to the north of the continent, in the tundra regions from Alaska to the Hudson Bay. Before winter it moves south to spend the cold months in the United States and Mexico. Some end up in Europe, Greater Antilles and Japan.


The members of this species are distributed in two populations: the Eastern and the Western. The Eastern population spends the winter in the estates of North Carolina and Maryland; this population exceeds eighty thousand individuals, which is considered a good number.


This swan nests not too far from deposits of water with underwater vegetation: such as lakes with submerged vegetation.


Aquatic plants that grow on the bottom and algae. Complements its diet with grass and small animals.


The males reach a length over 1.5 meters (5 feet), with an average weight of 7.1 Kg. (about fifteen and a half pounds) some weighting as much as 9.6 Kg. (over 21 pounds). Females are slightly smaller, the average weight is 6.2 Kg. (about thirteen and a half pounds).

Adults of both sexes have white plumage.


The Tundra Swan can be identified from other white swans by markings on the beak. This swan has a small yellow mark on each side of the beak's base, next to each eye. This mark varies in shape and size among the members of the species, however it is always much smaller than in the Bewick Swan.


The Tundra Swan is also called “Whistling Swan”. In Spanish is known as “Cisne Silbador”.

Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus columbianus)
Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus columbianus)

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Last revision: February 1, 2007
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