Well-named, the Tundra
Swan spends its summer months on tundra lands in or near the Arctic. The
North American race is often called the "Whistling Swan", while the
Eurasian race is often called "Bewick's Swan". This is the most
widespread and common of the swans normally found in North America.
summer breeding grounds are the lakes and ponds of the North American
tundra. During migration and the winter months, is most often found on
shallow lakes, ponds, and estuaries, often in the vicinity of agricultural
Diet: Primarily feeds on the seeds, roots, and
stems of aquatic plants. Will also eat large amounts of waste grain in
harvested fields, as well as the occasional small invertebrate.
Behavior: Forages both on land and in the water.
In the water, forages by swimming on the surface and either grabbing food
items from the surface, or by dipping its head and neck below the water for
good. As with some other waterfowl species, they have learned to take
advantage of waste grain left behind in agricultural fields, and will rely
heavily on such food sources during migration and in winter.
Breeding: Non-breeder in South Dakota
Migration: Summers on the tundra in northern Canada and
Alaska. Winters in scattered locations in the west, along the Pacific and
Atlantic coastlines, and elsewhere.
Conservation Status: Numbers stable, possibly increasing.
South Dakota "Hotspot": The northeastern part of the state, especially
in and around Sand Lake, are prime locations to find Tundra Swans in migration.
Cornell Lab of Ornithology - Tundra Swan
Whatbird.com: Tundra Swan
Photo Information: March 23rd, 2006 -- Minnehaha
County -- Terry Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Tundra Swan photos.