Migratory Birds of the Great Lakes University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute
 about habitat birds + science 20 birds
aerialist raptors
copyright UW Sea Grant, writer: L. Wiland, design: T. Yao contact us credits

Trumpeter Swan Water Connection

Trumpeter Swans have broad, flat bills with fine tooth-like serrations along the edges that help the birds eat aquatic vegetation.

Trumpeters seldom dive, but rather stretch their necks beneath the surface, and sometimes tip their rear ends up like mallards.

Swans have more neck vertebrae (25) than any other warm-blooded animal, including giraffes. In fact, the neck of the Trumpeter Swan is twice as long as its body! These long necks allow the birds to uproot plants in up to four feet of water.

When preening, a Trumpeter presses its bill against the base of the tail to extract a greasy fluid from an oil gland. This oil is used to recondition, clean, and waterproof the feathers.