Bird Families

Whooper swan

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The largest of the swans. The base of the beak is yellow, the end is black, the border of yellow and black is at an acute angle to the plane of the beak. Young birds have a pink beak with a black tip.

The image of life.

Inhabits lakes in the forest-tundra and taiga zones; on migration occurs in the seas. Migrant. Small in number. Breeds in separate pairs on deaf, usually rather large lakes with banks overgrown with sedge and reed.

The nest is a heap of moss, grass or reeds, usually located in shallow water or on an island in a sheltered part of the lake. Clutch from mid-May, consists of 4-6 large white or yellowish eggs. Outside the breeding season, it keeps in flocks.

It feeds on the water, does not dive, but only immerses its head and neck in the water. In a swimming bird, the neck is usually extended straight up. Very careful. From the water takes off from a run, the flight is unhurried, but fast, with deep strong flaps of the wings, the neck is stretched forward.

Voice - ringing, trumpet, unusually beautiful "gang-go." gang-go ". It feeds on aquatic plants and invertebrates.

Whooper swan is a wonderful decoration of nature, its numbers are decreasing, and therefore hunting is prohibited everywhere.

It differs from the mute swan in the yellow base of the beak (the neck stretched out with a "stick" is characteristic, but this rule is not without exceptions), from the small swan - in its large size and an oblique border of black and yellow flowers on the beak. The young have a black tip of the beak.

Recommended and cited literature

Guides-determinants of the geographer and traveler V.E. Flint, R.L. Boehme, Yu.V. Kostin, A.A. Kuznetsov. Birds of the USSR. Publishing house "Mysl" Moscow, edited by prof. G.P. Dementieva.

Whooper Swan / Cygnus cygnus

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Our author's teaching materials on ornithology and birds of Russia:
In our online store at non-commercial prices (at the cost of production)
can to acquire the following teaching materials on ornithology and birds of Russia:

computer digital (for PC-Windows) Guide to birds of Russia, containing descriptions and images of 206 species of birds of the middle lane (drawings of birds, silhouettes, nests, eggs and voices), as well as a computer program for identifying birds encountered in nature.
application for smartphones and tablets Android Field guide to Russian birds (you can buy it in the Google Play store),
iPhone and iPad applications: Birds of Russia, Birds of Europe, Russian Birds Voices, Bird Calls: Birds of Europe, Bird Calls: Birds of North America: Decoys, Field Automatic Bird Voice Recognition (all of them can be downloaded from the AppStore),
pocket field guides Birds of the middle lane (160 species), Birds of Russia (278 species),
colored identification tables Migratory birds, Wintering birds,
identification books of the series "Encyclopedia of the Nature of Russia": Birds, Pets,
MP3-disks with the voices of birds (songs, calls, calls): Voices of birds of central Russia (343 species) and Voices of birds of Russia, part 1: European part, Ural, Siberia (BN Veprintsev's music library, 450 species).

Squad Anseriformes - Anseriformes, Family Duck - Anatidae, Genus Swans - Cygnus

Whooper swan - Cygnus cygnus

Appearance. The beak is yellow with a black tip, and the yellow color extends forward beyond the nostrils. In juveniles, the head and neck are brownish, the belly is white, the beak and legs are pinkish. Usually swims keeping the neck upright.

Vote. (Reload the page - F5 to listen to the voice again). Loud trumpet gang-go. gang-go ”.

Habitat. Taiga lakes and rivers.

Food. They feed on green parts, fruits and rhizomes of aquatic plants, duckweed, rhizomes of reed. In addition to plant food, swans feed on small bottom animals available to them (crustaceans, molluscs, worms). In summer, swans sometimes fly from the lakes to the steppe to feed on grain crops.

Nesting. Breeds in separate pairs on overgrown lakes from tundra to forest-steppe. The nest is a large structure of moss, grass or reeds in shallow water near the shore or on an island. The nest tray is lined with soft reed panicles and partly with its white down; the whole structure is sometimes 2-3 meters in diameter. In clutch there are 4-6 white or yellowish eggs.

Spread. Distributed in northern tundra and forest areas. It nests from the Kola Peninsula to the east to the Kolyma, Anadyr and Kamchatka, to the south it descends to the Crimea, Central Asia, the Zaisan depression and the Tuva Republic.

Wintering. It hibernates on the coast of the seas, sometimes on the non-freezing lakes of the south of Russia.

Economic value. In the north (for example, in Kolyma), the prey of molting swans is of a commercial nature. Swan's down is especially highly valued for its lightness, feathers and, of course, meat are also used.

Swans are not hunted in such huge numbers as geese, primarily because there are fewer of them than the latter. Previously, the moulting swan fishery was also in the northeastern part of the Caspian Sea.

Description of Buturlin ... The swan can rightly be called one of the most beautiful birds of our country. Large, completely white, with a curved neck, it is especially good when it floats in the water between green reeds. It is not for nothing that the swan has long served as an adornment of ponds in various gardens and parks, and in all folk legends it has always been an emblem of beauty.

“All his movements,” says S. T. Aksakov, are full of charm: will he start to drink and, scooping up water with his nose, raise his head up and stretch his neck, will he begin to swim, dive and splash with his mighty wings, scattering water spray far away, rolling down from his fluffy body, will he then start to become prettier, easily and freely throwing his snow-white neck back in an arc, straightening and cleaning the crumpled or soiled feathers on his back, sides and tail, will the wing spread through the air, as if a long oblique sail, and start also to touch every feather in it with your nose, airing and drying it in the sun - everything is picturesque and magnificent in it ”.

Vote Whooper sounds like a trumpet. His cries are especially pleasant in the spring, when swans high in the sky echo among themselves. The melody of the swan roll-call merges with the noise of melt water and with all the various sounds of nature that comes to life after winter.

The swan's flight is strong. Naturally, such a large bird spends a lot of effort in order to break away from the water. But, having risen, the swan flies quickly, relatively rarely flapping its mighty wings. Early spring swans get under way from wintering places. The gross migration passes through Bashkiria in the second half of April, in the western part of Russia and in the Baltic states, swans fly earlier - at the end of March, when the rivers and lakes have not yet opened up from the ice.

At first, upon arrival, the swans are forced to keep along the openings, or even just on large spring puddles. They pair up and live together throughout their lives.

Whooper inhabits taiga lakes and rivers, but often we see that both species of swans are found at the nesting site in the same places. For example, in the steppes of northern Kazakhstan and Western Siberia, both species of large swans live on lakes.

Most often swans nest in reed beds, where there are at least small areas of open water. When choosing a place for a nest, birds climb into "strong thickets", swamps, secluded corners, remote from the coast. If a nest is built in an accessible place, it often perishes, since ignorant people often choose eggs from the nests and thereby cause great harm to the preservation and reproduction of this beautiful bird.

A pair of swans, occupying a small lake, does not allow other birds of their kind to visit it. On larger lakes, neighboring pairs of whoopers have fiercely fought since spring on the borders of their plots. When they meet on the water, they whip each other with their wings, collide with their chests, and continuously emit bellicose trumpet cries. In the same spring months, single swans quietly live in large flocks, in which there is always complete peace and order.

For building nests the swans take advantage of last year's piles of reeds, to which the male and female add a significant amount of plant material. Birds carry individual stems in their beaks or push plants directly through the water.

Incubates female, male guards her, being nearby almost all the time. According to the observation of some naturalists, the male sits on the nest when the winch leaves him in order to grab some food. With its size, the swan is not afraid of birds of prey and even animals. With a blow of his mighty wing, he can kill a fox, break a man's arm.

Incubation lasts thirty-five days. In late May - early June, chicks hatch. Downy chicks brownish gray. At the end of June, they already reach the size of a mallard duck. After leaving the egg, the chick does not eat anything for the first days.

The youth a whooper swan climbs its wings rather than mute swans. Apparently, the adaptation of the northern inhabitant - the whooper - to a shorter summer is affected here.

Adult swans, soon after hatching, begin to shed... Just like geese, they lose their ability to fly at this time. The whooper replaces the primary feathers within 6 weeks, and the mute period of the mute takes 7-8 weeks.

The faded swans begin to gradually fly off to wintering... The flight for the middle zone of our country takes place in October. For wintering, that is, on the Caspian and Black Seas, they arrive in November-December.

During wintering, swans keep in large flocks. In Kyzyl-Agach, on the Caspian Sea, whoopers gather in flocks of 300-500. They adhere to shallower places, since when they get food, swans do not dive, but, stretching their necks, get food from the bottom. This explains the cases of mass death of swans during wintering, when constant winds blow from the sea, significantly raising the water level in the bay. The swans do not reach the bottom, grow thin from lack of food and become so weak that the fishermen kill them simply with the blows of the oars.

In summer, whoopers on the lakes of Kazakhstan, according to A.N.Formozov's observations, feed on greens, fruits and bulbs of pondweed, pinnate, three-lobed duckweed and diligently dig out sweet rhizomes of reed from the bottom (in small places). In such places, there are always deep pits. In winter, on the Black Sea, swans feed on sea grass - zoster.

Species descriptions taken from Keys to birds and bird nests in central Russia (Bogolyubov A.S., Zhdanova O.V., Kravchenko M.V. Moscow, "Ecosystem", 2006).

Our author's teaching materials on ornithology and birds of Russia:
In our online store at non-commercial prices (at the cost of production)
can to acquire the following teaching materials on ornithology and birds of Russia:

computer digital (for PC-Windows) Guide to birds of Russia, containing descriptions and images of 206 species of birds of the middle lane (drawings of birds, silhouettes, nests, eggs and voices), as well as a computer program for identifying birds encountered in nature.
application for smartphones and tablets Android Field guide to Russian birds (you can buy it in the Google Play store),
iPhone and iPad applications: Birds of Russia, Birds of Europe, Russian Birds Voices, Bird Calls: Birds of Europe, Bird Calls: Birds of North America: Decoys, Field Automatic Bird Voice Recognition (all of them can be downloaded from the AppStore),
pocket field guides Birds of the middle lane (160 species), Birds of Russia (278 species),
colored identification tables Migratory birds, Wintering birds,
identification books of the series "Encyclopedia of the Nature of Russia": Birds, Pets,
MP3-disks with the voices of birds (songs, calls, calls): Voices of birds of central Russia (343 species) and Voices of birds of Russia, part 1: European part, Ural, Siberia (BN Veprintsev's music library, 450 species).

In section Nature in photographs also hosted thousands scientific photographs mushrooms, lichens, plants and animals of Russia and the countries of the former USSR, and in the section Natural landscapes of the world - photographs of nature in Europe, Asia, North and South America, Africa, Australia and New Zealand and Antarctica.

In section Methodical materials You can also get acquainted with the descriptions of the printed identifiers of plants in the middle lane, pocket identifiers of natural objects in the middle lane, identification tables "Mushrooms, plants and animals of Russia", computer (electronic) identifiers of natural objects, field identifiers for smartphones and tablets, developed by the ecological center "Ecosystem" , methodological manuals for organizing project activities of schoolchildren and field environmental research (including a book for teachers "How to organize a field environmental workshop"), as well as educational films on the organization of project research activities of schoolchildren in nature. Purchase all of these materials are available in our non-commercial online store. You can also purchase there mp3 discs Voices of birds of central Russia and Voices of birds of Russia, part 1: European part, Ural, Siberia.

Whooper swan

Cygnus cygnus (L., 1758)

Order Anseriformes - Anseriformes

Duck family - Anatidae

Category and status. Category 3. Breeding and passing species.

Short description... A very large waterfowl, much larger than a goose, with completely white (in adults) plumage. The beak is yellow with black, and the yellow color occupies more than half of the area and reaches the black apex with a distinct acute angle. On this basis, the whooper significantly differs from the small swan. Young birds have brownish-gray plumage and pinkish-gray beak. Voice - various euphonious trumpet cries.

Habitats and biology... Inhabits the shores of rather large (more than 1 km2) fresh or brackish water bodies with well-developed aquatic and emergent vegetation. In the Irkutsk region and on Lake Baikal, it nests in hard-to-reach places, although in Mongolia and in the south of Buryatia it willingly settles near humans. Large (up to 2 m in diameter and up to 0.6-0.8 m in height) nests are arranged on islands or spits near water or in shallow water. In clutch there are up to 7 large (100-110 x 65-75 mm) off-white eggs. Incubation lasts 31-40 days. Arrives at nesting sites at the end of April. Migrating individuals on the western coast of Lake Baikal were recorded in the first ten days of May (most often at the beginning of the month), on the Bratsk reservoir - until mid-May [8, 1], nests with clutches - in the second half of May - first half of June.Chicks appear at the end of the second decade of June, rise on the wing at the end of August - beginning of September. The autumn migration is not pronounced and proceeds in late September - early October, although mass migrations of swans (small and, probably, whooper) have been described across the watershed of the Irkut and Toisik rivers, as well as along the river valley. Oka in early and mid-October.

Spread... It was widespread in Eurasia - from tundra to forest-steppe and steppes, but in most of its range it disappeared as a result of disturbance or direct persecution by humans. In the region, it nests on floodplain and watershed lakes in the north of the region [4, 5]. On Lake Baikal, the nearest nesting place is the Selenga delta and the valley of the river. Upper Angara, where it is quite numerous. Recently, there has been a tendency to expand (restore) the nesting area, as evidenced by the finding of a nesting pair of birds on an artificial pond in the area of ​​the village. Sweatshirt of the Bayandayevsky district of the Irkutsk region and oral information from the huntsman of the Angarsk reserve about the nesting of swans in 2009 near Angarsk on the "Sushinsky Kaltus". In the southern districts of the region, it regularly occurs in the autumn and spring (more often) migration. On migration, in some places the number is very significant - in particular, on the lakes of the Tukolon nature reserve in the Kazachinsko-Lensky region, migratory accumulations amount to several hundred individuals.

Number... There is no exact data. According to Yu.I. Melnikov, on the territory of the region in the early 90s. of the last century, no more than 50 pairs nested. Judging by the positive trends, the current population is probably higher.

Limiting factors... Anxiety during nesting periods and in the recent past, direct extermination (hunting). Possibly, an unfavorable ecological situation and poaching in wintering grounds (China).

Taken and necessary security measures... It is included in the Red Data Books of all constituent entities of the Russian Federation in Eastern Siberia. Shooting of swans on the territory of the region is prohibited by the Hunting Rules. Restoration of the traditions of a benevolent attitude towards nature in general and birds in particular among the indigenous Buryat population, especially in the steppe and forest-steppe regions.

Sources of informationand: 1 - Maleev, 2008, 2 - Melnikov, 1993a, 3 - Melnikov, 2003, 4 - Melnikov et al, 1990, 5 - Naumov, 1998, 6 - Ryabitsev, 2008, 7 - Sadkov, Safronov, 1990, 8 - Tolchin, Tolchina, 1979, 9 - Fe-felov et al., 2001, 10 - data of A. Grafeev, 11 - data of the compiler.

Birds

Abyssinian horned raven

Blue eared pheasant

California crested quail

Little white heron

Ibis magnificent or hagedash

Order - Anseriformes

Family - Duck (Anatidae)

Genus - Swans (Cygnus)

Whooper swan (Cygnus cygnus)

Appearance:

Large bird, weighing from 7 to 10 kg, sometimes more. The body is elongated, the length of the neck is approximately equal to the length of the body. The whooper holds its long neck on water and on land, its head and beak are horizontal. Legs are short, carried back. The plumage has a large amount of fluff. Male and female do not differ externally.

Adult birds are white. The beak is lemon yellow with a black tip. The bridle is naked, yellow. The iris of the eyes is dark brown. Legs are matte black.

Chicks are covered with light gray down.

Young birds have a smoky gray plumage with a darker head. The whooper acquires pure white plumage only in the third year of life.

Areal:

Breeds on the northern borders of Eurasian forests from Scandinavia and Scotland to Chukotka and Sakhalin. In the south, they are found up to Lake Ladoga, Mongolia, northern Japan, and the northern part of the Caspian Sea. They fly to the north of the Mediterranean Sea, to the Caspian Sea, as well as to Central, South and Southeast Asia for the winter. Only a few birds stay overwintered at their nesting sites. Whoopers usually do not fly away for wintering from Scandinavia, on the White and Baltic Seas. Swans, living in non-freezing or incompletely freezing water bodies of Eurasia, also stay for the winter.

Whooper is a cautious bird that stays in wide water areas, away from the shores.

Food:

They feed on green parts, fruits and rhizomes of aquatic plants, duckweed, rhizomes of reed. In addition to plant food, swans feed on small bottom animals available to them (crustaceans, molluscs, worms). In summer, they sometimes fly out to the steppe to feed on grain crops. Chicks feed mainly on animal food in shallow water, getting food from the bottom, half diving into the water, like ducks.

Reproduction:

Monogamous birds that form pairs for life, and partners keep together even during the winter. A change of partner is possible only in the event of the death of one of the swans.

They nest on the shores of water bodies: if possible, large lakes covered with dense thickets. The nesting site is a rather vast territory where other swans do not enter; if the boundaries between whoopers are violated, violent fights occur, usually on the water.

The nest is arranged in thickets of reeds, reeds or cattails, less often in shallow water, where the nest rests on the bottom of the reservoir. The bottom of the tray is lined with grass, moss and feathers plucked from the belly and breast of the female.

In clutch there are 3-7 eggs incubated by female. While the female incubates eggs, the male is nearby and guards the nest. After 35-40 days, chicks hatch, which are taken care of by both parents. Chicks can get their own food on their own.

Juveniles develop rapidly and by the end of July reach half the size of an adult bird. Parents take care of the offspring for a year after their birth. Often, the whole family goes to winter in warm countries. Parents and young birds keep together everywhere.

Our pets:

On our ponds, among a group of tundra swans, stands the whooper swan - Zeus. This majestic and sedate bird has a truly royal character - it does not rush anywhere, does not bother anyone once again. What for? After all, he has a retinue of followers, which always covers him with her breasts and rushes to defend her "idol".

Interesting fact:

Whooper swans got their name due to the loud sounds they make in flight.

The swan is a royal bird, and even a royal one. In England, since 1186, all free-living swans belong to the monarch by law. Since the 15th century, only landowners of a certain rank could keep and, accordingly, eat swans in Great Britain. The birds were marked with special rings, indicating that the swans have masters.

There is an opinion that once it was two swans floating towards each other who suggested to people the sign of "heart" - symbolizing true love.

The blow of a whooper's wing is so powerful that it can break a child's arm or kill a fox.

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