There are a variety of different swan species for visitors to see at the W.K. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary. One of these species, rarer for our guests to spot, are Trooper swans. At the sanctuary there are two resident Trooper swans that enjoy the back lagoon areas, mostly inaccessible to visitors. However, depending on where they are, they can sometimes be seen from the lake loop.
Trooper swans are a Whooper x Trumpeter swan hybrid. Whooper swans are a European breed of swan with a large yellow triangular patch on their black bill. They have a wing span of approximately 6.7 – 7.7 feet and are closely related to the Trumpeter swan.
Trumpeter swans are the largest bird native to North America. These beautiful birds have black feet and a completely black bill. Larger than the Whooper swan, the Trumpeter swan has a wingspan of over 7 feet. They acquired their name from the trumpet like sound of their call.
Being so closely related, Trumpeter and Whooper swans can potentially create offspring. Typically these two swans would never come into contact in the wild, but Whooper swans have been found in North America. This migration to North America could be due to a variety of factors, including storms or accidental releases. Whooper swans do have the potential to threaten the purity of the Trumpeter line and affect their conservation status.
Visit us today and see our resident birds and look for our Trooper swans!
Avian Care Intern