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 Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Urban Bird Foundation. He is now co-founder of a movement to create a new revenue stream for our National Wildlife Refuges with a Wildlife Conservation Pass.
Pat's 2017 Year List - 430
Donna's 2017 Year List - 209
Clare M's 2017 Year List - 159
Tom's 2017 Year List - 152
Jochen's 2017 Year List - 086
Pat's 2016 Year List - 882
Donna's 2016 Year List - 709
Clare M's 2016 Year List - 464
Pat's 2015 Year List - 700
Donna's 2015 Year List - 514
Corey's 2015 Year List - 506
Duncan's 2015 Year List - 491
Redgannet's 2015 Year List - 394
Clare M's 2015 Year List - 340
Jochen's 2015 Year List - 160