Whooper Swans - Hebridean Birds Sightings
Western Isles Birds Photos & Info - Whooper Swans - Western Isles Birds.

The whooper swans are a winter visitor to The Western Isles and are actually a little more scarce in the summer.

As large as a Mute Swan the Whooper swan and bigger than a Bewick Swan it is a Winter Visitor to the British Isles. The swans come here from their breeding grounds in Iceland and Scandinavia.
        Whooper Swans - Photo Gallery
Buzzard -  Western Isles
Photo Gallery  - Whooper Swans
Bird Overview - Whooper Swans
Family
Swans, Ducks & Geese
Latin name
Cygnus cygnus

 Population
Winter Visitor


Similar Species
Bewick and Mute Swans
Description
As large as a Mute Swan the Whooper swan and bigger than a Bewick Swan it is a Winter Visitor to the British Isles. The swans come here tom their breeding grounds in Iceland and Scandinavia.

The whooper swan has a long thin neck, which it holds erect. It has black legs. Its black bill has a large triangular patch of yellow on it. ( Mute swans bill is orange and black, a bewick swan has more black than yellow on its bill - whereas the whooper swan has more yellow than black)


Size
145-160 cm (57 - 63 ins)
Habitat
These swans are creatures of habitat and individual swans will return to the same communal wintering sites year after year. Wetland habitats, mainly shallow lochs and coastal flats where these birds can be seen in The Western Isles.
Food
The whooper swans feed mainly on aquatic vegetation
Voice
The Whooper swans have a deep honking call
Breeding
Whooper swans pair for life, and their cygnets stay with them all winter; they are sometimes joined by offspring from previous years.

They prefer to breed in wetlands, but semi-domesticated birds will build a nest anywhere close to water.

The male and the female build the nest. The male stands guard over the nest while the female incubates. There are between 4-7 eggs (exceptionally 12). The cygnets hatch after about 36 days and have a grey or brown plumage. The cygnets can fly at an age of 120 to 150 days.


Misc. Info
The whooper swan is named after its haunting call - it migrates in family parties with adults guiding their young on their first migration South each autumn.

Identification Tips
Whooper - Mute or Bewick?


The Whooper swan is as large as the Mute Swan, the Bewick is smaller. The Whooper has a long slender neck which they hold much more upright than the other two swans.

The whooper has a longer bill than that of the bewick swan with more yellow on the bill a long yellow wedge on side of the bill extends beyond the nostrils, whereas the Bewick swan has a rounded patch of yellow which falls short of the nostrils.

The Mute Swan has orange on the bill, not yellow. The Bewick Swan has a more round head than that of the Whooper and mute.


Whooper Swan Family - Western Isles
©2014 Virtual Hebrides
Website Design and Hosting by Western Isles Web Services Ltd, Isle of Lewis Western Isles - Outer Hebrides