This large bird, formerly known as the “Whistling Swan” is white in colour, has a black beak, feet and legs. Some may appear to have a reddish hue on their head and neck, this is due to feeding in iron-rich areas. Whistling is the sound made by the slow, powerful wings at take-off.
On average this male bird has a height of 1.3 meters with a weight of 7.5 kg, the female is slightly smaller weighing in at 6.3 kg but she will never tell you these details. The juveniles have gray feathers with pinkish beaks and legs. It takes about two years to develop into an adult.
These photographs were taken at the Elgin County Wildlife Management Area near Aylmer, Ontario during a feeding stop on their Spring migration. This journey take these birds from Chesapeake Bay, Virginia to the Beaufort Sea in the Arctic. Other excellent viewing locations in Southern Ontario are the Long Point Waterfowl Management Area in Norfolk County, Ontario and the Lambton Heritage Museum in Grand Bend, Ontario.