Trumpeter Swan

(Cygnus buccinator)

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

Trumpeter Swan


N4B, N4N - Apparently Secure Breeding and Nonbreeding

S2B,SNRN,SNRM - Imperiled Breeding, Unranked Breeding and Migrant


Special Concern


Reintroduced. Widely scattered breeder. About 1,500 birds in the state.

Photo by Christa Rittberg

Lakes and large wetlands


60 to 72 in length

72 to 84 wingspan



The bill is all black with no knob at the upper base and no yellow lores.




Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) bill is orange with a black knob at the upper base. It is a rare vagrant in eastern Minnesota.

Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus) is smaller and usually has yellow lores. It is much more common and widespread.











Anseriformes (ducks, geese, swans, and relatives)



Anatidae (ducks, geese, and swans)



Anserinae (geese, and swans)


Olor buccinator










Small patches of skin between a bird’s eye and bill, one below each eye.




Visitor Photos

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Dan W. Andree

Trumpeters are beautiful...

  Trumpeter Swan    

Pair of Trumpeters, Geese, 2 distant wood ducks and a pair of Sandhill Cranes across the water.

  Trumpeter Swan  

Canada geese and White as Snow Trumpeter Swans...

  Canada Goose  

Trumpeter Swans in a harvested corn field...

Seen them today in rural Norman Co. Mn. One is standing on one leg…resting the other I am thinking.

  Trumpeter Swan  

Christa Rittberg

  Trumpeter Swan    

Kirk Nelson

Snelling Lake, Fort Snelling State Park

  Trumpeter Swan   Trumpeter Swan
  Trumpeter Swan    

Tom Baker

  Trumpeter Swan   Trumpeter Swan








  Trumpeter Swan
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren
  Trumpeter Swan  
  Trumpeter Swans at Riverlands 11/20/16
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren
  Trumpeter Swans at Riverlands 11/20/16  
  Trumpeter Swan
JMC Nature Photos
  Trumpeter Swan  
  Trumpeter Swans
Craig A. Mullenbach
  Trumpeter Swans  

Most of these shots are taken in the old Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant around Lake Marsden.

Mully410 Critical Blog
A blog for smart people. Stupid people will probably get a headache reading here (unless they stick to the flickr links...pretty pictures).





Visitor Videos

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  "Talking Trumpeters"
Dan W. Andree

Published on Mar 7, 2016

The Trumpeter Swans have, and continue to make a comeback after nearly being hunted to extinction by the early 1900's. Large beautiful birds they can sometimes be quite vocal to each other. No idea what they were saying, but they obviously understand one another. Wind made it difficult filming at times.

  "Trumpeter Swans"
Dan W. Andree

Published on Jan 16, 2016

Nearly hunted to extinction by the early 1900's the Trumpeter Swan has made quite a comeback and I am glad they have. This brief video shows the Trumpeter Swans existing in their natural habitat along with ducks and geese etc. with a combination of natural swan sounds as well as instrumental music in areas. This is the first HD video of this type I have done using a DSLR camera with a 55-250mm zoom lens instead of a HD camcorder.


Other Videos

  Ultimate Animal Dads: Trumpeter Swans
Animal Planet

Uploaded on May 26, 2009

Get more at Trumpeter Swan dads are loyal to their families, mating for life with the mother swans.

  Trumpeter Swans

Uploaded on Apr 26, 2009

I have never heard anything like this. Birds can actually sound like a brass instrument.

  Trumpeter Swans

Uploaded on Aug 31, 2007

Trumpeter swans are much larger than any other species of waterfowl.

Adult trumpeters will average about 30 pounds and have a seven foot wing span.

Young swans, called cygnets, are easy to identify, because they're gray, not white, until they're a year old.

Hunting in the 1800s drove trumpeter swans to the brink of extinction. Restoration efforts in the upper Midwest have led to increased sightings of swans in Missouri as they migrate through during fall and winter months. And several trumpeter families have been found wintering in different areas around Missouri. But until people get used to seeing them, waterfowl hunters need to be careful. Shooting a protected trumpeter swan can cost thousands of dollars in fines.

 Saving the Trumpeter Swan

Uploaded on Mar 27, 2009

Thanks to the efforts of volunteers with the Trumpeter Swan Restoration project, the endangered trumpeter swan population in Ontario is now over 1,000. Long time volunteers Harry Lumsden, Beverly and Ray Kingdon feed the swans at Lasalle Park in Burlington. See for more news and information.

  The REAL Swan Lake: Trumpeter Swans by the Hundreds Taking Flight (HD)
Meg McDonald

Published on Jan 9, 2013

At a tiny lake in northwestern Washington State, hundreds of wintering trumpeter swans rest every night (between December and early March) and fly out from the lake at dawn to feed in nearby farm fields. This is Shadow Lake at the Bob Heirman Wildlife Preserve in Snohomish County, and these trumpeter swans are part of the Pacific Coast population that breeds during summers in the interior of Alaska and spends winters along the Pacific Coast as far south as Eugene, Oregon.

Trumpeter swans are the largest waterfowl in North America. Unfortunately they were hunted nearly to extinction in the 1600s-1800s. Their long wing feathers were prized as elegant quill pens, and their skins were used to make cosmetic powder puffs.

Today trumpeter swans are protected by law, but they're being poisoned by lead shot. Lead shot has been banned for waterfowl hunting, but it still may be used to hunt upland birds and is also used for target practice. The swans pick up lead shot pellets when they feed in wetlands and in winter farm fields. (Shadow Lake, the swan roost in this video, has been tested and is free of lead contamination.)

Please help protect these lovely, graceful birds by never using lead shot for hunting or for target practice. Use only NONTOXIC shot (such as stainless steel), and ask your friends to do the same. For more information about trumpeter swans, please visit

Please visit my beautiful photography website and my Facebook page for incredible high-resolution photographs of the majestic wild scenery and wildlife of the Pacific Northwest!

You can find the music of Rho at





Visitor Sightings

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Dan W. Andree

Location: rural Norman Co, Mn.

Trumpeter Swans in a previously harvested corn field in rural Norman Co, Mn. 2018

Trumpeter Swan

Dan W. Andree

Location: Rural Norman co. Mn.

Pair of Trumpeters, Geese, 2 distant wood ducks and a pair of Sandhill Cranes across the water.

Today (April 2, 2018) the water has froze there is a also a little more snow and they have gone elsewhere.  

Trumpeter Swan

Dan W. Andree

Location: rural Norman Co. Mn.

Canada Goose

Dan W. Andree

Location: rural Norman Co. Mn.

One is standing on one leg…resting the other I am thinking.

Trumpeter Swan

Kirk Nelson

Location: Snelling Lake, Fort Snelling State Park

I tried to use the noise of the planes landing to cover the sound of my approach, but they became aware of me soon enough and gave a few warning honks.  Still, I was able to approach slowly and get to about 30 yards from them.  When I sat still to watch, they would tuck their heads back under their wings, but as soon as I started moving they perked up again.

Trumpeter Swan






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