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Whooper swan

Cygnus cygnus

Whooper swan. Photo Aaro Toivio

General information. The whooper swan is a migratory bird, flying to the southern parts of the Baltic Sea and coastal regions of the North Sea. The exact time for migration varies greatly from year to year, according to prevailing weather conditions. During mild autumns, migration can occur as late as December. The first whooper swans usually return to Vaasa during March. Large flocks with hundreds of individuals can be observed during migration in the vast farmlands of Söderfjärden. The best time for observing the whooper swan during spring is April, while autumn usually offers the largest flocks during October. The whooper swan is classified as a protected species according to the European Union Bird Directive.

  • Length 145-160 cm
  • Nests on the ground
  • Winters in Western Europe
  • Feeds on aquatic plants and grain

Habitat. The whooper swan nests in shallow, lush sea bays and inland lakes, ponds and mires.

Distribution in Vaasa. During the survey years 2005-2008 the whooper swan was observed in about 50 locations, with the majority of observations being made in the archipelago. Distribution map is not published due to species protection reasons.