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swan Whooper Swans

Identify It >  Birds >   Whooper Swans >

Scientific name:  Cygnus olor

Size:  Whoopers are about the same size as mute swans, around 150cm in length and up to 14kg in weight

Distribution:  During the winter months Whooper Swans can be found throughout most of Scotland, Northern Ireland, mid to north Wales, northern England and parts of East Anglia

Months seen:  Late September to April

Life Span: Can be up to 23 years, however many die before they are ten (source BTO)

Habitat:  Usually found in damp grasslands, marshes, agricultural land, lakes and reservoirs

Food:  Grass and other vegetation such as the roots of aquatic plants

Special features:  Whooper swans have a yellow patch which extends along almost the full length of the bill.  Bewick's Swans have a similar yellow patch but it does not extend so far down the bill.  Whoopers tend to hold their necks much straighter than mute swans and they have a bugle-like call (hence the 'Whooper' name).

Although most of the Whooper Swans arriving in the UK come from Iceland, they also breed right across Scandinavia and Russia.

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