Bewick’s Swan Bird Information


Bewick’s Swan is the smallest bird of the three swans; size most apparent in flight when faster wing beats and noisy calls resemble goose. The black bill has a truncated yellow area at the base. Bewick’s Swan has a rounded crown with a concave forehead and bill profile. Neck often held straight. Usually gregarious, forming large flocks at suitable feeding grounds; grazes in goose-like fashion.

Status: The bird is a localized winter visitor from Siberia to traditional feeding grounds, such as Ouse Washes and Slimbridge; most numerous in southern England. Late winter influxes due to hard weather in Germany and Holland.

Similar Species: Whooper Swan is much larger, has pointed yellow area on the bill and flat crown and bill profile.

Bewick’s Swan Bird Facts

Size116-128 cm (45-50 in)
Habitatfreshwater, estuaries, fields
Flockinggregarious, 1-several hundred
Flightlabored; direct
Behaviorswims, up-ends, walks, takes off and lands on water or ground
Voicegoose-like honking flight call

Bird Identification


Tailwhite; short and square
Billblack with yellow base; duck-like
Legsblack; short
Juvenilebrownish grey, pinking bill

Nesting and Breeding

Nesta huge mound of vegetation
Eggs4; creamy white
Incubation29-30 days
Youngactive; downy
Fledging40-45 days
Broods1; June-July
Foodgrass, grain, roots
Population16,000+ winter

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