Whooper Swan

1/80s at f13.0, ISO:1250, Canon EOS-1D X w/800mm, x1.4 converter

The Whooper Swan is a large Northern Hemisphere swan. Whooper Swans require large areas of water to live in, especially when they are still growing, because their legs cannot support their body weight for extended periods of time. The whooper swan spends much of its time swimming, straining the water for food, or eating plants that grow on the bottom. Whooper Swans have a deep honking call and, despite their size, are powerful fliers. Whooper Swans can migrate hundreds or even thousands of miles to their wintering sites in southern Europe and eastern Asia. They breed in subarctic Eurasia, further south than Bewicks in the taiga zone. The Whooper Swan is the national bird of Finland and is featured on the Finnish 1 euro coin. The Whooper Swan is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Water birds (AEWA) applies. Musical utterances by Whooper Swans at the moment of death have been suggested as the origin of the swan song legend.