National Geographic

Enough With Black Swans; What About Good Old-Fashioned Whoopers?

National Geographic

Despite being a Tchaikovsky/Nutcracker fan, I've never seen Swan Lake. I also don't really have any intention of seeing Black Swan. But here's this neat swan-related thing from National Geographic magazine. And by swan-related I mean, well, just swans — hanging out, doing their swanly thing.

  • The whooper swan, the most populous variety, has a wing-span of eight feet.
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    The whooper swan, the most populous variety, has a wing-span of eight feet.
    Stefano Unterthiner
  • Whoopers settle down for the night on the frozen Hokkaido's Notsuke Bay in Japan. In some places, the swans are a tourist draw, which, a Japanese bioligist says, is "good for tourism, not the swans."
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    Whoopers settle down for the night on the frozen Hokkaido's Notsuke Bay in Japan. In some places, the swans are a tourist draw, which, a Japanese bioligist says, is "good for tourism, not the swans."
    Stefano Unterthiner
  • Whooper swans can take flight either from the water or solid ground. One migration route, the 800-mile-long flight from Iceland to Ireland, is likely the longest sea crossing by any swan species.
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    Whooper swans can take flight either from the water or solid ground. One migration route, the 800-mile-long flight from Iceland to Ireland, is likely the longest sea crossing by any swan species.
    Stefano Unterthiner
  • A pair of whoopers face off in Japan. Breeding territory spans half the globe, from Iceland to the Aleutians.
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    A pair of whoopers face off in Japan. Breeding territory spans half the globe, from Iceland to the Aleutians.
    Stefano Unterthiner
  • A whooper spreads its wings to show off.
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    A whooper spreads its wings to show off.
    Stefano Unterthiner
  • Young swans are born white and open-eyed, and join their parents for fall migration.
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    Young swans are born white and open-eyed, and join their parents for fall migration.
    Stefano Unterthiner

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To be specific, these are whooper swans. "With a population of about 180,000," the National Geographic article reads,"the whooper, though vulnerable to loss of habitat, is among the most abundant of swans and trumps others in the sweep of its range." See more on their site!

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