Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator), The Shield Ranch - Nature Conservancy (private), Yavapai County
This Trumpeter Swan was
found by Kay Hawklee, Lisa Grubbs, and Kristen Rothrock and photographed by Kay Hawklee on 02 January 2019
Though apparently increasing, Trumpeter Swan remains very rare in Arizona, with nine accepted records and several more pending.
Immature swans represent one of the most
challenging bird identification problems. The head is
flat/angular shaped with the bill straight in a slope
that resembles a Canvasback profile. Details of bill
shape and pattern can be useful, but are much more
variable and overlapping in young birds than in adults.
Tundra Swans tend to have shorter more concave bills and
more rounded heads. Tundra Swans also tend to have paler
bills overall, with less black at the base. Overall
color is useful, as immature Tundra Swans are paler gray
and molt earlier in the winter than Trumpeter, so
already have a significant amount of white feathers by
January. The overall gray coloration of this bird and
the mostly blackish bill support the identification of
Trumpeter Swan. Also note its size, significantly larger
than nearby Canada Geese.
02 January 2019, photo by Kay HawkleeAll photos are copyrighted© by photographer
Submitted on 04 January 2019