|Class: Aves: Birds
||Diet: Aquatic plants
- 140 cm (45 - 55 in)
Ducks, Geese, Swans
swamps and marshes
swan and the whistling swan are sometimes treated as 2 separate species,
but are so alike that they are now generally regarded as conspecific. Both
breed in the far north of their range and migrate enormous distances to
winter in Europe, China, Japan and the USA. Males and females look alike
-- the female is sometimes slightly smaller -- and juveniles have mottled
grayish plumage. The swans feed in shallow water on aquatic vegetation.
The bonds between mates are strong and permanent and are formed and maintained
by mutual displays. The female lays her clutch of 3 to 5 eggs in a nest
of sedge and moss lined with down, usually near water. She incubates them
for 35 to 40 days. The cygnets must make the long migration south when
only 80 to 90 days old.