Whooper Swan - Cygnus cygnus


    The Whooper Swan is a large white swan, similar in size to the Mute Swan. Typically its neck is usually held erect, and it has black legs. Its black bill has a large triangular patch of yellow on it that extends past the nostril towards the tip.

    Similar Species

    The Bewick's Swan has a similar yellow patch on its bill but this doesn't extend past the nostril. It is also significantly smaller and doesn't hold its neck as straight.

    Identification difficulty

    Usually seen in Scotland, Northern Ireland, northern England and parts of East Anglia.

    When to see it

    October to March.

    Life History

    Feeds on aquatic plants, grass, grain, potatoes.

    UK Status

    It is mainly a winter visitor to the UK from Iceland, although a couple of pairs nest in the north. The estuaries and wetlands it visits on migration and for winter roosts need protection. Its winter population and small breeding numbers make it an Amber List species.

    VC55 Status

    Infrequent winter visitor to Leicestershire and Rutland.

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map