Trumpeter swan with chicks in exhibit

Trumpeter Swan

Scientific Name

Cygnus buccinator






Western United States and western Canada


Lakes, ponds, and rivers

Estimated Wild Population

Trumpeter swan in exhibit
IUCN Conservation Status: LEAST CONCERN IUCN Conservation Status: LEAST CONCERN

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Physical Description

The largest North American waterfowl, trumpeter swans have white plumage and a black bill. They feed primarily on seeds, grains, and wetland plants, as well as snails, insects, and small fish. These aquatic birds form breeding pairs at the age of 3 or 4, and pairs often mate for life. Female build a large grass nest near a body of water, where they lay four to six eggs. Upon hatching, offspring remain with their parents for three to four months before venturing off on their own.

Interesting Fact 1

Trumpeter swans were named after their signature call, a loud, trumpeting honk.

Interesting Fact 2

Their wingspan can reach up to eight feet across.

Interesting Fact 3

Adult males can weigh up to 30 pounds.

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Species Survival Plan®

We cooperate with other members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to manage the zoo population of this species through a Species Survival Plan®.

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Commitment to Care

Lincoln Park Zoo prioritizes individual well-being over everything else. Guided by scientific research, staff and volunteers work to provide the best welfare outcomes for each individual in the zoo’s care.

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Wish List

The Wish List is full of one-of-a-kind items for the zoo’s animals, including nutritious snacks and enrichment items to keep them active and healthy. 

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Wildlife face many daunting challenges—some global, like planet-wide climate change, and some that affect individuals, like an animal ingesting plastic—but now is not the time to despair. None of these problems are too big for us to come together and solve.

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