A wild goose

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A wild goose never reared a tame gosling.

An Irish Proverb quote

Tundra Swan

Tundra Swan

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The Tundra Swan

The Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus) is a small Holarctic swan. The two taxa within it are usually regarded as conspecific, but are also sometimes split into two species, Cygnus bewickii (Bewick’s Swan) of the Palaearctic and the Whistling Swan, C. columbianus proper, of the Nearctic.

The Tundra Swan is the smallest of the Holarctic swans, in length, wingspan and weight.

Tundra Swans have high-pitched honking calls and sound similar to a black goose (Branta).

Identification Tips:
• Length: 36 inches Wingspan: 85 inches
• Large, long-necked waterbird with short legs and a short duck-like bill
• Long neck held straight up with a kink at base

Adult:
• Black bill with variably-sized yellow spot at base
• Culmen somewhat concave
• Black of bill extends up to eye but does not encircle it
• Straight demarcation on forehead between black bill and white feathering
• Black legs and feet
• Entirely white plumage
• Sexes similar

Immature:
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• Body grayer than adult

Similar species:
The very large Tundra Swan is unlikely to be confused with anything but other swans.

As their name implies, the Tundra Swan breeds in the Arctic and subarctic tundra. They inhabit shallow pools, lakes and rivers. These birds are migratory birds. The winter habitat is grassland and marshland, often near the coast. They like to visit fields after harvest to feed on discarded grains and while on migration may stop over on mountain lakes.

According to National Geographic, when migrating these birds can fly at altitudes of nearly 27,000 ft. Tundra Swan flocks usually fly in V formation.

 

 

A wild goose never reared a tame gosling.

An Irish Proverb quote

 

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A wild goose never reared a tame gosling.

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