Breeding Trumpeter Swans seek reasonably shallow (less 보다 6 feet deep), undisturbed body of freshwater with plentiful aquatic plants. This heavy-bodied birds likewise need at the very least 100 yards of open water for your running take-offs, and muskrat or beaver dens or little islands ~ above which to nest. Reproduction sites include little ponds (including beaver and farm ponds), lakes, marshes, bogs, glacial potholes, and quiet follow me of river. As they prepare (or “stage”) for migration, Trumpeter Swans conference at sites close to open water, such as inlets with relocating water, and larger, deeper lakes. Wintering birds seek out ice-free sites whereby vegetation is available, consisting of freshwater streams, rivers, springs and reservoirs. In the Pacific Northwest, bird roost and also feed in estuaries. In the Midwest, swans might winter on deep ponds the reclaimed surface ar mines. Wintering swans might forage in croplands and also pasture.Back to top


Trumpeter Swans are greatly vegetarians, return they periodically eat tiny fish and fish eggs. Younger birds likewise eat aquatic insects prior to switching to a plant-dominated diet. Day and night, the birds feed on a broad range of aquatic plants, consisting of pondweeds, eelgrass, marestail, sedges, rushes, duckweed, wild rice and also algae. To feed underwater they pointer in the air prefer dabbling ducks, rooting beneath the surface ar to twist and pull up vegetation or releasing roots by paddling their feet in the mud. In winter lock eat a greater percentage that terrestrial plants and berries, such together blueberries, cranberries, lupine, wheatgrass, broom, and also ryegrass. Grain crops, including corn and also barley, and also tubers such as potatoes and also carrots likewise make up part of the wintertime diet. Earlier to top


Nest Placement

Trumpeter Swans build their swarms on a website surrounded through water and usually less than 600 feet from shore. The nest is usually built on an currently structure including muskrat and also beaver dens, beaver dams, floating vegetation mats, little islands, or manmade platforms. Swan pairs often use the same nest site year after year.

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Nest Description

Both sexes collection plant material to build the nest, which contains a structure topped by a mound the aquatic vegetation, occasionally including grasses and sedges. The female uses her bill and body to form a nest bowl atop the finished mound. The bowl’s lining may include a couple of feathers. Colonies take 14 - 35 days to build and also the completed oblong or circular nest mound can reach approximately 11 feet across and 3 feet high, through a key measuring 10 - 16 inches throughout and 4 - 8 inch deep.

Nesting Facts

Clutch Size:4-6 eggs
Egg Length:4.0-5.0 in (10.1-12.6 cm)
Egg Width:2.4-3.2 in (6.2-8.1 cm)
Incubation Period:32-37 days
Egg Description:Creamy to dull white, often stained brown in the nest.
Condition at Hatching:Eyes partially open, extended in mouse-gray or periodically white down. Leaves colony within 24 hours of hatching and also has the ability to swim and also feed. Is able come fly in ~ 90 - 122 job after hatching.

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Trumpeter Swans fly v rapid, shallow wingbeats, regularly traveling in bag or household groups and flying lower than various other swan and duck species. Come feed, Trumpeter Swans skim vegetation indigenous the surface, emboldened their lengthy necks underwater come forage, and tip like dabbling ducks with the rear fifty percent of their body in the air as they scour because that algae, leaves, stems and roots of pondweeds and other plants. They likewise pump their large, webbed feet up and down to create water currents that totally free roots from neighboring mud. Occasionally ducks sign up with feeding swans to glean vegetation and also feed ~ above insects they disturb. ~ above land, Trumpeter Swans dig right into the floor to find tubers, and nibble or scoop up grain from the ground. The swans spend far-ranging time preening, rubbing their bills in the oil-secreting uropygial gland close to the base of the tail, then distributing the oil over the feathers to waterproof them. Swans kind long-lasting pairs and also may identify a nesting website when less than 2 year old, however often wait several much more years to breed. Pairs remain together transparent the year and often migrate and also winter in family groups and with various other waterfowl, including Tundra Swans, Canada Geese, and Northern Pintails.Back to top


Despite gift driven almost to extinct in the beforehand 20th century, Trumpeter Swans have rebounded and also their numbers space increasing. Widespread searching for meat, skins and also feathers indigenous the 1600s - 1800s had reduced this as soon as widespread varieties to 69 known people by 1935, return isolated pockets that the birds likewise survived in Canada and also Alaska. Hunting them is currently illegal transparent the U.S. Between 2000 and 2005 a continentwide survey found that Trumpeter Swan number had much more than tripled, from 11,156 come 34,803. Although Trumpeter Swans have been referred to as “a classic conservation success” and also numbers continue to increase, risks such together lead poisoning, habitat loss, strength lines, and also occasional shooting continue to impact the population. The swans are additionally extremely sensitive to person disturbance at their breeding sites and also will abandon nests and cygnets if disturbed. Ongoing conservation initiatives include a collection of federal management plans for the three major populations: the Interior, Rocky Mountain, and also Pacific coast birds, together with several state plans. Managers are functioning to enhance breeding and also wintering habitat, limit human being disturbance, and decrease command pollution.Back come top


Lutmerding, J. A. And also A. S. Love. (2020). Longevity documents of phibìc American birds. Version 2020. Patuxent Wildlife study Center, Bird Banding laboratory 2020.

Mitchell, Carl D. And Michael W. Eichholz. (2010). Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator), variation 2.0. In The birds of phibìc America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell laboratory of Ornithology, Ithaca, brand-new York, USA.

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Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley guide to Birds, 2nd edition. Alfred A. Knopf, brand-new York, NY, USA.