Tundra Swan

Basic Description

The Tundra Swan, also known as the Whistling Swan, is a large bird that belongs to the family of waterfowl. It is one of the heaviest and largest swans with a wingspan ranging from 5 to 6 feet and weighing between 10-18 pounds. The adult male’s plumage is pure white while females are slightly smaller than males with grayish-brown feathers on their heads.

Where To Find This Bird?

Tundra Swans breed in the high Arctic regions such as Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Russia where they construct nests close to freshwater ponds or lakes. In winter months, they migrate southwards towards southern coastal regions including British Columbia down to Texas along with Atlantic coastlines from Nova Scotia till Florida.


Tundra swans prefer habitats near freshwater like marshy tundras or shallow ponds with aquatic vegetation for feeding grounds during breeding season. During migration and wintering seasons when temperatures drop sharply in their breeding range, these birds can be found close to open waters of bays or estuaries.


The Tundra swan feeds on underwater plants such as sago pondweed bulbs which make up about half its diet but will also eat algae, duck potatoes (arrowheads), sedges grasses and grains like wheat & corn if available particularly during winters when preferred food sources aren’t abundant at migration stopovers.

Cool Facts:

  • Tundra Swans are monogamous creatures that mate for life.
  • Their scientific name “Cygnus columbianus” was derived from Christopher Columbus who discovered them on his voyage across America.
  • An interesting feature about this bird is how it communicates – it makes a variety of sounds including honking calls that sound like a trumpet, whistling sounds and soft grunts.
  • These birds migrate over a distance of 3,000 miles from Alaska to California in winter months. They can fly at an altitude of up to 29,500 feet with their wings beating about once every second!

In conclusion, Tundra Swans are elegant and intelligent creatures that inhabit the Arctic regions of North America. These majestic birds are prized for their beauty as well as their unique traits such as monogamy and long-distance migration patterns. If you ever have the chance to spot one during your travels or birdwatching excursions- take it!