Whooper swans in Lake Kussharo, Japan  

Whooper swans in Lake Kussharo, Japan

An elegant creature for a majestic setting. These whooper swans, gliding on the mirror-like surface of Japan"s Lake Kussharo, are close relatives of North America"s trumpeter swans. Named for their loud call, whooper swans are one of the world"s heaviest flying birds, weighing up to around 30 pounds and boasting wingspans of between 7 and 9 feet. Whooper swans are found across Eurasia and are Finland"s national bird, spending their breeding season there before migrating to warmer areas for winter. All that travel doesn"t ruin their relationships—these waterfowl form strong, monogamous pairs that can last for life.

© Darrell Gulin/DanitaDelimont.com

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