Tundra swans

  • Article by: JIM GILBERT
  • Updated: November 11, 2010 - 8:59 PM

A tundra swan swims and a mallard takes flight above the steamy waters of Black Dog Lake.

Photo: David Joles, Star Tribune

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Tundra swans

Tundra swans are now seen overhead in Minnesota, and we hear their muffled musical whistles -- a wonderful sign of fall. They fly in V-shaped wedges, sometimes at a height of up to 8,000 feet.

The swans are coming from their summer range, mainly north of the Arctic Circle, and heading for their winter headquarters along the Atlantic coast from Chesapeake Bay to North Carolina. Large numbers pause briefly each fall on lakes and rivers in the Great Lakes area before moving to their winter range.

Mature swans are white with black bills and feet, and they are 3 feet tall, have a 7-foot wingspread and weigh 10 to 19 pounds.

JIM GILBERT

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