(Eurasian cousin of Trumpeter Swan)
There are two populations of Whooper Swans, one breeding in Iceland, which migrates to the UK in winter, and another breeding in Scandinavia and Siberia and over-wintering in Western Europe. Typical male weight is around11kg and the female 8kg. They have a yellow and black bill pattern, like Bewick's Swans, but are distinguishable because the wedge of yellow on the Whooper Swan always extends below the nostril. In addition, the bill is longer than the Bewick's. Whooper Swans are the most aggressive of the Eurasian swans. Migration flights can last 14-15 hours and they reach speeds of around 50mph (80 km/ph).
They have been recorded at flying at heights up
to 9000 metres.
Image courtesy of Fraser Simpson