Table of Contents
It wouldn’t be fair to ignore the larger, white cousins of geese – the swans. There are two regularly-occurring species, and one very rare species that is actually increasing rapidly throughout the Northeast.
Tundra Swan – This is the most common swan in natural areas, and is often found in flocks. They will also join goose flocks as well. These are medium-sized swans with chunky black bills, sometimes with a yellow patch near the lores. The forehead shape above their bill is rounded. Juveniles can have pinkish bills similar to juvenile Mute and Trumpeter. More info here.
Mute Swan – A very large, introduced swan species that can be found in small groups in natural areas and on urban ponds and lakes. They are showy, and have large orange bills. Their tails come to a point, whereas the other two swan species have rounded tails. More info here.
Trumpeter Swan – This is a rare species that could be found among either of the more likely swans; with Canada Geese; or even totally alone. Trumpeters are just slightly larger than Mute Swans, and have long black bills and a V-shaped forehead. Be sure to photograph any potential Trumpeter Swans, as there are very few records throughout the region! Some Trumpeters in the Northeast have plastic wing-tags from a study in Ontario. More info here.