Mobile bird identification
Bird Field Guide

Bewick Swan

Cygnus columbianus
(AKA Tundra Swan)
Order: Anseriformes

Family: Anatidae

Genus:  Cygnus

Species: C. columbianus
Adult Male and Female
General distribution:
Breeds in Northern Siberia and Migrates South along well establish flight paths as far as the UK where around 7000 birds Winter. Numbers have fallen drastically in recent years and research is underway to establish the reasons. The majority of UK birds Winter in the South with large concentrations on the Wash and several WWT reserves where they are fed.

Habitat:
Low lying wet pasture, salt marshes, lakes and reservoirs in Winter. Breeds on Siberian tundra.
Notes:
Individual birds have unique bill markings and can be recognised, charts are kept at many reserves identifying birds by name. The Bewick unlike the Mute Swan is a wild swan difficult to approach however where it is fed on reserves it can become more confiding.
Identifying a Bewick Swan

*Rounded head

* key ID points
Juvenile (1st Winter)

Short square tail

Identifying a Juvenile Bewick Swan
* key ID points
Adult and Juvenile Bewick Swans.
Bewick Swan
Whooper Swan
Mute swan
White-fronted Goose
Bean Goose
Pink-footed Goose
Greylag Goose
Canada goose
Barnacle Goose
Brent Goose
Swans and Geese

All White plumage

The adult Bewick Swan is much smaller than the Mute Swan. It is an all White bird with a small Yellow, Black tipped bill. The amounts of Yellow are variable between individuals. The Bewick's head is rounded and it's neck proportionally shorter than the Mute or Hooper swan.

*Short neck compared to Whooper

Dull Greyish Brown body

Bill pale/pink black tip

The Juvenile Bewick Swan has a dull Greyish Brown body and a pale often Pinkish bill with a Black tip. Can be separated from a Juvenile Whooper Swan in the same way as the adult, by bill shape and overall small goose like appearance.
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Where's the best place to see this bird?
More ID tips?
Best place to photograph it?
Thanks to: Bryan's bird pics

*Much smaller than Mute Swan

Thanks to: Bryan's bird pics
Identifying a Whooper Swan by head shape
Identifying a Bewick Swan by head shape
Bewick Swan
Whooper Swan
The Bewick's bill is more concave on top and the Whoopers bill is straighter, more wedge like. Using the amount of Yellow on the bill is problematic as individuals vary, however the Whoopers Yellow is usually more of a 'V' shape pointing to the tip.

*Rounded head

*Much smaller than Mute Swan

*Short neck compared to Whooper

Short square tail