Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus


Formerly, the Whooper Swan had a restricted breeding distribution in the northern part of the country, but during recent decades there has been a very marked increase and spread and breeding Whooper Swans are now found over the entire country. In winter, Whooper Swans are found in the southern parts of the country, but smaller flocks are found as far north as open water with food is available in small streams. The majority of the wintering Whooper Swans are however found in the southernmost parts of the country.

In Sweden as in other countries the Whooper Swans have changed habits in recent years and to a larger and larger extent they have started to feed on agricultural land. Due to this habitat change the traditional midwinter counts will not cover all areas for the species. Therefore,  a special Whooper Swan survey was started in Sweden and other northern European countries in 1995 and has then been organised at five year intervals the last one in Jnauary 2020.

For more information and results from these censuses go to:

National Whooper Swan Counts

In contrast to the very marked increase in the Whooper Swan population established from the country-wide surveys, the national midwinter indices only show quite moderate increase. This is due to a very marked change in the habits of wintering Whooper Swans in southern Sweden during recent years from being mostly a waterbird to feed far away from water in the field, thus appearing in sites not covered with the waterfowl counts.In contrast with earlier years January 2008 showed a much higher index than any of the preceeding years.


Whooper Swan January 2015


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Page last updated 2020-01-29