Friday, November 19, 2010

All about tundra swans

Our friend Phillip asked us if hooded mergansers could be attracted to nest boxes. We found that they can. Here's some information. (Jill also found plans for building one online, and they are the same as plans for wood duck boxes).

We saw the tundra swans at the bird sanctuary. There are also trumpeter swans there. The difference between a trumpeter swan and a tundra swan is the shape of the bill and slight difference on the head. The bill on the tundra swan is more dish shaped and concave. The tundra swan usually has a yellow spot in front of the eye.

The tundra home--before it migrates for winter--of the tundra swan is a large stick nest lined with moss and grass. The tundra swan is very white. It breeds in the Arctic and migrates to North America for winter. The female lays four eggs, and the male guards the eggs. In the breeding season, it sleeps on land, but in the winter, they sleep on the water. They start flying with a running leap. While the swan's wings are flapping, it makes a whistling noise. It winters in large flocks. It eats aquatic plants, seeds, mollusks, arthropods, and grains.

It's call can be found here.

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