Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Birds

Whooper Swan (Cygnus Cygnus)

Description

The Whooper Swan has a length of 152cm, where males can weigh between 10-11kg and females 8-9kg. Has a similar appearance to Bewick’s swan, but larger in size, and their bills have less black and more yellow as their pattern.The Whooper Swan pairs for life and are sometimes joined by offspring from previous year during winter. They prefer wetland for a breeding habitat.

Habitat

The Whooper Swan lives in marshy tundra in the summer, and in the winter freshwater marshes with open fields as they require large areas of water to live in. When Whooper Swans’ prepare to go on a flight as a flock, they use various signalling movements to communicate with each other, involving head bobs, wing flapping and shakes to determine who is leading and whether to take flight.

Diet

Whooper Swans’ feed on aquatic vegetation and grass.

Protection Status 

This species is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

Interesting facts

It is considered to be amongst the heaviest flying birds. It is known to breed very rarely.Can be found on the Finnish 1-euro coin, as they are the national bird of Finland.

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