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trumpeter swan

trumpeter swan (Cygnus buccinator) Photo © David W. Brewer

Features and Behaviors

The trumpeter swan is 58-60" long (tail tip to bill tip in preserved specimen) with a wingspan of seven feet. Its bill is entirely black and forms a "V" shape where it meets the feathers of the forehead. All feathers of the adult trumpeter swan are white. The young birds have pale, gray-brown feathers.

Trumpeter swans migrate in a line or in a v-shaped flock. They are statewide migrants and winter residents in the state. They eat aquatic plants and seeds and feed by tipping up their body into the water, immersing the upper portion or just the head and neck. They can be found at lakes, ponds, large rivers, marshes and grain fields.

Illinois Range


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae