Don’t Accidentally Shoot Swansin the Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine.

How To Identify A Swan

  • Trumpeter swans are North America’s largest native waterfowl species at 4.5 to 5 feet long, weighing between 20 to 30 pounds with a wingspan over 7 feet.
  • Tundra swans are slightly smaller and are best distinguished by their high-pitched quavering call, unlike the deep, trumpet-like call of the trumpeter swan.
  • Non-native mute swans are similarly sized to both trumpeter and tundra swans but can be distinguished by its orange bill – both native swans have black bills – and prominent black fleshy knob extending from the base of the bill to the forehead.

Snow Geese Are Legal To Hunt

Snow geese are significantly smaller than Wisconsin’s swan species. Snow geese are 2 feet long, 5 to 6 pounds and have a wingspan of 4.5 feet. Snow geese also have pink bills and black tips visible on the underside of their wings during flight. Snow geese are infrequent visitors to Wisconsin, while the native swans are much more abundant.

For more information about trumpeter swan identification, photos and tips for how to tell trumpeter swans apart from other large white birds visit the DNR’s Swans in Wisconsin webpage and The Trumpeter Swan Society’s website.