December 1, 2014
Tundra Swans stopped along Warner Beach on their way south over the Thanksgiving weekend. The white swans are adults, the “dusky” colored birds are juveniles.
The swans breed in high Arctic wetlands. The birds move to warmer, inland estuaries in the U.S. for winter.
Tundra swans are monogamous, and the young stay with parents for a year. Their diet includes submerged aquatic vegetation and organisms. Because of a drastic decline in their food supply swans now feed in grain fields, which farmers dislike.
Nonetheless, their population has doubled in the last 35 years, and they are hunted annually. They are the most numerous of native swans, yet there is limited literature and data on their life cycles and movements.