Tundra Swan

Cygnus columbianus
Swans Taking Off

The Refuge provides important wintering habitat for tundra swans: as many as 1,000 have been observed at Franz Lake.  Traveling all the way from the far northern reaches of North America, many tundra swans call Franz Lake NWR home during the winter because of the abundance of food found under the water including plants, seeds, tubers, grains, and some mollusks and arthropods.  Franz Lake’s abundance of wapato (Sagittaria latifolia) provides valuable food for swans in the form of a starchy tuber, much like a small potato.  Indigenous people of the area also used this tuber as an important food source.

Click here for more information about tundra swans from The Cornell Lap of Ornithology.  

Facts About Tundra Swan

Parents will fight smaller predators to protect their chicks.  However, when larger predators like wolves, bears, and people are present, adult swans leave the nest immediately.  

How do you think this helps them to protect their young?