The spellbinding Bewick’s swan thrills with its mere presence in Scotland during the winter months…
1. Between 1995 and 2010 the number of swans migrating from Russia to Europe dropped from 29,000 to 18,000.
2. Bewick’s have 100 days to breed! This is before Arctic weather closes in; it’s only possible in 24-hour daylight.
3. An adult Berwick’s swan has white feathers with yellow and black bills, but young birds are greyish with pink bills.
4. The Bewick’s swan is one of seven species of swans worldwide. The others are the mute, whooper, coscoroba, black-necked, black and trumpeter swans.
5. Each Bewick’s bill is unique to them! Just like a fingerprint, the pattern of black and yellow distinguishes between individuals.
You can read Jim Crumley’s Scottish wildlife columns online here, and each month in The Scots Magazine.