Bird of the Day

Bird with white Belly and black back

Phoebe Flycatcher / June 17, 2017

Trumpeter Swan on a nest

Swans, Ducks, Geese- Family Anatidae
Trumpeter Swan female on a nest

Trumpeter Swan Cygnus buccinator

The majestic Trumpeter Swan is the largest of our native waterfowl and one of the heaviest flying birds in the world, with males sometimes exceeding 30 pounds.

Historically hunted to the brink of extinction, it was recognized as an endangered species long before there was an Endangered Species Act, and its recovery is a conservation success story.

The adult's snow-white plumage with contrasting black bill and feet and 8-foot wingspan define this magnificent bird. Their neck is as long as their body and is used to reach food at the marsh bottom.

Tundra SwanIn spring, the Trumpeter Swan is a locally uncommon breeder east of the Cascades, most notably at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. West of the Cascades, wintering birds are most consistently noted in west Polk Count and Sauvie Island, also along the northern coast, lower Columbia River, Forest Grove, and Trojan Nuclear Power Plant.

Tundra Swan
-Photo by Kathy Munsel, ODFW-

Tundra Swan Cygnus columbianus

Wood DuckOf several swans found in Oregon, the Tundra Swan is by far the most common during the nonbreeding season. It is most readily distinguished from the similar-appearing Trumpeter Swan by voice, although subtle differences in physical appearance and behavior can separate the two with difficulty.

It is a fairly common transient throughout the state but most abundant at large bodies of water and wetland complexes east of the Cascades including the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and the surrounding Harney Basin, Summer Lake Wildlife Area and the Klamath Basin.

Wood Duck Drake
- Photo by Dave Budeau-

Wood Duck Aix sponsa

The drake Wood Duck is the most colorful of North American ducks. The brown hen has similar features including a crest, distinctive white eye-ring, white belly and purplish-blue iridescence on wing coverts and speculum. Both sexes have a prominent tail that can be a field mark in flight.

As their name implies, they are associated with timbered wetlands, nesting in cavities and sometimes even feeding in trees. Hens utter a fairly wide range of un-duck like sounds, but most common is a loud wee-e-e-e-k, wee-e-e-e-k.

Eurasian Wigeon American Wigeon Mallard pair Blue-winged Teal