Swans of Alaska

There are two species of swans found in Alaska, the trumpeter swan (cygnus buccinator) and the tundra swan, also known as the whistling swan (cygnus columbianus). There have been occasions where a third species of swan has been seen in the Aleutian island chain in the winter months, that being the whooper swan (cygnus cygnus).

Trumpeter swans are the largest and can weigh up to 28 pounds for a male and 22 pounds for a female. In 1990 a cencus was taken and it was determined that 80% of the world's population of trumpeters nested in Alaska. Breeding grounds are typically inland, whereas the winter months are spent on the coast as far north as Cordova Alaska and as far south as Washington. 

Tundra swans are separated into two categories (eastern and western), as these two groups breed and migrate to two different regions. Some of the western group go as far south as California and others of the eastern group, go as far east as North Carolina. All species of swans begin their migrations at the end of September or beginning of October, depending on the weather, and they return and begin nesting in the spring as soon as the ground begins to thaw. 

This swan was seen in the Potter Marsh Bird Sanctuary outside of Anchorage. This is one of the many great places to spot the swans of Alaska.