Migrating Tundra Swans

Tundra Swans in Western Ontario is a sure sign of Spring.  Each year thousands of these large, magnificent swans make the 4,000 mile journey from Chesapeake Bay to their summer home in the Arctic.   They stop twice to feed and rest on their northern migration - in Western Ontario and then in the north of Manitoba and Saskatchewan.  The migration occurs over three to four weeks in late winter and early spring.   The journey is hard and according to the National Geographic only the strong will survive.

 Tundra Swan in Flight

Tundra Swan in Flight

 Resting After after a Long Journey

Resting After after a Long Journey

These swans are large, with a wing span of more than six feet.  They are also known as whistling swans for the sounds they make.  They can be heard long before they're seen.

The swans with brown colouring on their heads and neck are last year's young. They remain with their parents for the first full year of their life and one complete migration cycle.  

A family of four tundra swans.  The parents are at the front and rear and the two born last summer are in the middle.