Anyway, here are the facts:
|Group of Whooper Swans (Cygnus cygnus)|
- As I said above, it is hard to differentiate Whooper Swans from other types of swan. I have created one way of differentiating them from knowing that Whooper Swans travel in groups. A group o' Whoopers. :-)
- You can distinguish Whoopers by their yellow beaks from mute swans which have orange beaks. Whoopers are larger and have more yellow on their beaks than Bewicks Swans.
- The Whooper Swan's Latin name, Cygnus cygnus, means something quite obvious. Cygnus means The Swan so literally translated their Latin name means, The Swan The Swan.
- As I mentioned in my Mute Swan post, they are royal birds and are protected legally by the monarch whether it be a king or queen. It is actually illegal to kill a swan on the Thames.
- They are one of the few large birds that are not commonly eaten. I read this is as they are hard to domesticate. I think it helps that your not allowed to kill them, though.
- The UK only has 9-14 WILD breeding pairs in the UK. Although they do have an Amber Status which is probably because they are joined by another 15,000 birds in the Winter...
- ...There is, however, a reason for this. They are only found in parts of the UK. Also they only live here in the Winter.
- Whooper Swans are very hardy as they have been recorded to fly at heights of 8,200 metres! The temperatures up there are around -40*C!
- While we're on the subject of flying, they fly in groups just like a flock of Geese, in a V formation. Every-so-often they will change the leader so he-she can have a rest at the back of the flock.
- They are a visitor from Iceland where they come down for Winter. I don't know why they would come down if they can survive temperatures of up to -40*C but it's still nice to see them anyway.
Here are some links to some more information:
Hope you enjoyed,