The Whooper Swan is similar in appearance to the Bewick's Swan. However, it is larger, at a length of 140-165 cm (55-65 in) and a wingspan of 205-275 cm (81-108 in). Weight typically is in the range of 7.4-14 kg , males are larger than females. The wintering male is considered to be the heaviest among flying birds having once reached a 15,5 kg mass. Whooper Swans have a more angular head shape and a more variable bill pattern that always shows more yellow than black (Bewick's Swans have more black than yellow).

Habitat and Distribution

Whooper Swans breed in subarctic Eurasia, further south than Bewicks in the taiga zone. They can migrate hundreds or even thousands of miles to their wintering sites in southern Europe and eastern Asia. Their preferred breeding habitat is wetland, but semi-domesticated birds will build a nest anywhere close to water.


The Whooper Swan spends much of its time swimming, straining the water for food, or eating plants that grow on the bottom.


Both the male and female help build the nest, and the male will stand guard over the nest while the female incubates. The female will usually lay 4-7 eggs (exceptionally 12). The eggs hatch after about 36 days and have a grey or brown colour.

Calls and Songs

Whooper Swans have a deep honking call.