Do swans fly south for the winter?


Quick Answer

The tundra swan is migratory and may travel from western Alaska to northern Georgia and back. Trumpeter swans do not migrate if they live in areas where streams and ponds remain ice free during the winter.

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Full Answer

Tundra swans migrate south just before the coming of cold, snowy weather in winter and begin the return trip north as the ice melts. Their largest wintering area is around Chesapeake Bay, while western Alaska is a major breeding ground.

Trumpeter swans breed primarily in the northern Rockies but have been reintroduced in the Great Lakes region. Those that live in colder areas usually migrate to the northern Pacific Coast in winter. The only other swan in North America, the mute swan, is an introduced species from Europe and does not migrate.

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