Nesting during the summer in Alaska and northern Canada near the artic circle, Tundra swans migrate in family groups to spend the winter in the Chesapeake Bay estuaries. The Mississippi river between Alma and Lacrosse, Wisconsin, provides food and rest halfway through their trip. They dine on tubers of arrowhead, wild celery and sago pondweeds in the muddy river bottoms, accompanied by ducks who take advantage of the edible plant materials dislodged by the swan’s powerful legs. When the river freezes toward the end of November, Tundra swans leave Minnesota and continue their journey East.
Hear the Tundra Swan sound at Cornell Lab’s All About Birds.
November 19, 2010 38 degrees