Ask the Swan Specialist

Tundra Swan
Date: 16 January 2016

I work at a state park in N. VA as a park interpreter/naturalist. I am currently researching the Tundra Swans as they do reside in our bay and nearby marshes during our winter months. I have not been able to discover answers to these questions that have evolved from my research, and do appreciate any assistance you may be able to provide:

1. Why do tundra swans live in the tundra itself? And why do they only breed in the tundra, especially when the short summer would seem more of a hindrance to the cynets survival?

2. What is a swan's body temperature?

3. Is the tundra the most conducive climate for their breeding and survival?

It seems to me that these incredibly amazing waterfowl must return to the tundra because of specific climate conditions that relate to their body temp for breeding to I on the right track here? I have not discovered any information as to why these species must travel almost 4000 miles twice a year, when in reality they spend such a short duration of time at both the winter and summer locations.

Also: I enlarged a wonderful photo of the feet of the tundra swan, and it appears they have a back finger-like toe that sticks out the back of their leg, away from the large webbed "paddle" type feet. Can you tell me anything about this?

I do appreciate any assistance or references you may be able to provide, as I have spent numerous hours reading basically the same info over and over without discovering answers to my questions. My curiosity has gotten the better of me! I am very thankful to have found your website and will share it with others.

Thank you for your time and assistance... it is deeply appreciated!

Messages In This Thread

Tundra Swan -- Nancy -- 16 January 2016
Re: Tundra Swan -- The Regal Swan -- 17 January 2016