SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Front Page Photo

Trumpeter Swan
Photo By Carl Thompson


January 11, 2006
Wednesday AM

Ketchikan, Alaska - Trumpeter swans feeding in the Ward Lake area are providing winter viewing pleasure to Ketchikan bird-lovers.

By the end of the nineteenth century, the trumpeter swan was nearly extinct in North America. Today, some 3,000 or more of these birds nest in Alaska, and winter in coastal lakes and rivers in British Columbia as far south as Vancouver Island.

jpg Trumpeter Swan

This trumpeter swan just lifted its head from feeding underwater.
Photo by Carl Thompson ©2005

Trumpeter swans are large white birds that feed on water, rooting in the shallow, mucky waters for roots and grasses; they also graze on land. The males, or cobs, are slightly larger than the females, or pens. These swans are powerful flyers and capable of speeds up to 50 miles per hour in flight.

These magnificant swans are one of North America's largest birds at 60-72 inches in height. The color of the adult is white with a black bill. Younger birds are a dusky grey-brown and their bill is pinkish with a black base and tip. Their voice is a bugling, lower pitch.

Once mated, trumpeter swans usually remain together for life. Their life expectancy is 20-30 years.



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Ketchikan, Alaska