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Bewick’s Swans

Bewick’s are one of two subspecies of Tundra Swans. Bewick’s swans are smaller than the more common Mute swans, with a shorter neck and gorgeous, white plumage set off by a black-and-yellow beak. The birds are territorial, monogamous, and very talkative. They also eat algae and seek out freshwater ponds, lakes, rivers, and wetlands, as well as flooded pasturelands.

Range: Bewick’s swans are found in the Siberian Tundra during the summer and east to the Pacific Ocean. They winter as far south as Britain and the American upper Midwest.

Habitat: Bewick’s swans congregate near water, as aquatic plants are their main food source in the summer months. During the winter months, they may eat dry grass, grains, and even potatoes.

Status in the Wild: Bewick’s swan is a protected species. Nonetheless, it is threatened by toxic mining wastes present on their migratory path. Ingestion of lead shot is also a significant cause of mortality.

Status in Aviculture: Bewick’s swans have been bred in captivity for more than a century, initially as decoration for parks and gardens near bodies of water. Most swans in captivity are pinioned and unable to fly.

Breeding: Bewick’s swans mate for life. The birds mate in early spring, after reaching the age of four.

Incubation: Bewick’s swans lay an average clutch of 3-5 eggs, hatching them in about 30 days. Only one clutch of eggs is produced per year.

Lifespan: Bewick’s swans live for about ten years in the wild. They live much longer in captivity, sometimes 20 years or more.

Weight: Female pen Bewick’s swans weigh about 13 pounds, with cob males weighing on average 14 pounds.

Housing Requirements: A fenced area for protection from predators is needed. Small trees and shrubbery to shelter nests are also advised.

All our Bewick’s swans for sale are pinioned.


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