Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve, BC (Photo by Tim Ennis/NCC)
Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve, BC (Photo by Tim Ennis/NCC)

Trumpeter swan

Trumpeter swan family (Photo by Karol Dabbs)

Trumpeter swan family (Photo by Karol Dabbs)


The statuesque trumpeter swan stands between 60 to 72 inches tall and has a distinguishing bugling, low-pitched voice, hence its name.

Habitat and lifecycle

Trumpeter swans prefer habitats near marshes, lakes and rivers with dense vegetation, and generally build their nests on bulrush-covered islands or beaver dams. They feed on roots and grasses found in shallow waters and also graze on land.

The species selects a mate for life and nests annually late in April through June, laying four to six eggs.

What is NCC doing to protect this species?

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has two properties where the swans have been found nesting annually: one site is adjacent to Waterton Lakes National Park in the Alberta Rockies, and the other is along scenic Beavertail Creek, near the BC border in the Grande Prairie Country.

In 2004, juvenile swans paid a visit to one of our properties. The birds were reintroduced to Elk Island National Park, east of Edmonton, but spent part of the summer of 2004 on Coyote Lake. We were happy to have them as our guests and would welcome them back anytime!

Thanks to the support of our donors, NCC is able to conserve and steward some of the province's best wilderness so that species such as trumpeter swan can thrive for years to come.

Thank you for your interest in land conservation. Together we will achieve tangible results.

© 2015 Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) | ™ Trademarks owned by The Nature Conservancy of Canada.