The whooper swan is a large white water bird with a long neck and a partially yellow bill. The whooper swan keeps its neck straight unlike Mute swan (Cygnus olor) that keeps its neck slightly arched. The whooper swan makes loud trumpeting calls which also distinguishes it from the almost silent Mute swan.
A variety of water systems and swamps are suitable for the nesting of the Whooper swan. The breeding area of the species includes Scandinavia, Iceland and Russia. Whooper swan migrates to the southern parts of Scandinavia and to the North Sea coasts in late autumn. It returns to Finland early in the spring and its return is considered as a sign of the beginning of the spring.
Whooper swan is the national bird of Finland. According to Finnish folk myths Whooper swan is a sacred bird whose killing knows death. Two flying Whooper swans are featured on the backside of the Finnish one-euro coin.
Whooper swans were once hunted almost to extinction, but the conservation actions allowed the species to recover.
|wood||deadwood||stage of development||key biotopes|