Birds – The Trumpeter Swan

(C. Buccinator) takes its name from its peculiar, loud and raucous voice, which is apparently made possible by the convolutions of the windpipe within the breast-bone, which is hollowed out to contain it, suggesting in this respect certain of the Cranes. It is a bird between five and five and one half feet long and has an extent of wings of from eight to ten feet. It is further distinguished by having the bill and lores entirely black, and by the fact that the distance from the eye to the nostril is not greater than from the nostril to the end of the bill. It is found chiefly in the interior of North America, breeding from the Dakotas and Iowa northward, being rare or less generally distributed toward the Pacific coast, and rare or occasional on the Atlantic coast. Although it may occasionally nest in the southern part of the range indicated above, it breeds mainly in the far North. MacFarlane mentions finding many nests in the Barren Grounds and on islands in Franklin Bay in the Arctic Ocean. They were composed of a quantity of hay, down, and feathers intermixed, and the complement of eggs was from four to six. They are a uniform chalky white color, and measure about four and one half by two and three fourths inches.