On this week's Wild Women, Kirsten Bartlow discusses trumpeter and tundra swans. They are native to Arkansas.
The trumpeter swan is the largest waterfowl species native to North America and is one of our rarest native birds.
It weighs around 30 pounds with up to an 8-foot wingspan! For perspective, the giant subspecies of Canada goose only weighs about 12 pounds.
Trumpeters are all white with back feet and beaks and with a red grin line on their beak. Cygnets or young swans are grayish colored.
The birds generally mate for life and may live 20-30 years. They are very family oriented and learn how and where to migrate from their parents. This knowledge was lost when swan numbers where knocked back to near extinction in the lower 48 states.
Easy target for hunry settlers! Today, they're a rare winter visitor. Three swans showed up at Magness Lake in the early 1990s.
Over the years, these swans have brought friends and family and upward of 150 swans have been spotted on the lake.
Trumpeter swans nest in Alaska and the northern Midwest. They eat aquatic vegetation, leaves, seeds, roots and pond weeds. Their heads and necks may become stained with yellow or brown tones from diving underwater to feed.