Home Archived April 13, 2016

Trumpeter Swan Resource Page


Biological Information:

Average Life Span:  12 years in the wild
Weight: 20-30 pounds Length: 40 inches Wing Span: 7 feet
Male: Cob Female: Pen Young: Cygnet
Food (Adults): Preferred diet of submergent aquatic plants (pondweed, waterweed) up to 20 lbs./day
Food (Cygnets): Insects and crustaceans for first month and then aquatic plants
Pairing: Start at 2 -3 years old and mate for life; will pair again if mate dies
Nest: Old muskrat houses, 6-7 feet in diameter, 2 feet above water line.
Eggs: 3-9 dull white eggs in early May and incubate for 5 weeks.

Distribution Maps:

Tracking Swans:

Trumpeter swans are marked with neck collars as a cost effective way to monitor their movements. The collar must be read in the correct direction to make sure the right alpha-numeric characters are being entered into the neck collar database. The collar should be read from the bottom of the collar to the top (from the shoulder of the bird to the head), if the collar was put on correctly. As of 1993, there are now protocols to follow regarding swan neck collars. These inlcude: 1) possible letter colors are Black or White; 2) 3 character combinations consisting of 1 letter and 2 numbers in any order; and 3) possible collar colors are Green, Red, or Yellow. Further information about using neck collars for tracking migratory birds can be viewed at: USGS-Bird Banding Laboratory

Additional Resources:

  • Time Series Analysis
  • Expert Systems