On Vancouver Island we enjoy a relatively mild year round climate and winteter temperatures are mostly above zero, occasionally falling to -7C during cold snaps, but in general mild, so the Island and lower West Coast mainland attract a variety of migrating birds including these magnificent, large Swans.
This group of Trumpeter's has been observed feeding daily on the Peninsual, just North of Victoria for several weeks.
The trumpeter swan is the largest extant species of waterfowl, and both the heaviest and longest native bird of North America. Adults usually measure 138–165 cm (4 ft 6 in – 5 ft 5 in) long, though large males can exceed 180 cm (5 ft 11 in) in total length. The weight of adult birds is typically 7–13.6 kg (15–30 lb). Possibly due to seasonal variation based on food access and variability due to age, average weights in males have been reported to range from 10.9 to 12.7 kg (24 to 28 lb) and from 9.4 to 10.3 kg (21 to 23 lb) in females. It is one of the heaviest living birds or animals capable of flight, and, in terms of average mass, the heaviest flying bird in the world. (txt above from wiki)
The adult birds are fairly large and white compared to the juveniles which are greyish in colouration. The birds stick together in family units when feeding on grasses as in these photos and also in flight. They find large open water ponds for overnite and also at times will find a sheltered ocean bay.
Over the next month or so many Trumpeter Swans will fly nothward to the Arctic as the temperatures improve and find their traditional breeding/ nesting sites where they will produce next batch of offspring. Each nesting female can lay 3 - 12 eggs and on average 4-6 ... My observations show adult pairs flying with 1 to 3 youngsters.
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* All images and content copyright Terry Venables and NaturalImagesCanada *