They feed primarily on the seeds, stems, roots, and tubers of submerged and emergent aquatic vegetation but drastic declines in such vegetation at some migratory stopover sites, and especially at wintering areas, have driven this species to feed extensively in grain fields1.
That is where I found this group of nearly 100 Tundra Swans northeast of the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge as they flew in to the flooded agricultural fields.
They are impressive birds as they approach in these small groups…
some weighing in at nearly fifteen pounds with a wingspan of 6 to 7 feet, calling as they come in…
greeting the other birds already feeding (note the size of the swans in relation to the shorebirds here).
Larry Jordan was introduced to birding after moving to northern California where he was overwhelmed by the local wildlife, forcing him to buy his first field guide just to be able to identify all the species visiting his yard. Building birdhouses and putting up feeders brought the avian fauna even closer and he was hooked. Larry wanted to share his passion for birds and conservation and hatched The Birder's Report in September of 2007. His recent focus is on bringing the Western Burrowing Owl back to life in California where he also monitors several bluebird trails. He is a BirdLife Species Champion and contributes to several other conservation efforts, being the webmaster for Wintu Audubon Society and the habitat manager for the Burrowing Owl Conservation Network. He is now co-founder of a movement to create a new revenue stream for our National Wildlife Refuges with a Wildlife Conservation Stamp.
Redgannet's 2014 Year List - 649
Donna's 2014 Year List - 612
Carlos's 2014 Year List - 574
Corey's 2014 Year List - 331
Jochen's 2014 Year List - 316
Clare M's 2014 Year List - 315
Duncan's 2014 Year List - 188
Carrie's 2014 Year List - 148
Carlos's 2013 Year List - 1587
Jochen's 2013 Year List - 553
Corey's 2013 Year List - 511
Donna's 2013 Year List - 438
Duncan's 2013 Year List - 430
Clare M's 2013 Year List - 368
Redgannet's 2013 Year List - 212
Larry's 2013 Year List - 206
Redgannet's 2012 Year List - 660
Jochen's 2012 Year List - 542
Corey's 2012 Year List - 525
Felonious Jive's 2012 Year List - 404
Duncan's 2012 Year List - 402
Clare M's 2012 Year List - 300
Clare K's 2012 Year List - 040
Greg's 2012 Year List - 004