Tundra Swans in Flight

Tundra Swans in flightTundra Swans in flight – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/1600, ISO 320, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus) by the thousands overwinter in the Great Salt Lake area, it is not uncommon to see huge flocks of them at Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area in northern Utah.

Tundra Swans used to be known as “Whistling Swans” because of the sound their wings make in flight and when hundreds or thousands of them fly over it is a delight to hear.

I photographed these Tundra Swans in flight in February of 2011 on a bright, chilly morning as they flew over the marshes at Farmington Bay. Their beautiful white plumage against the sky is always a joy, especially when there are wispy, white clouds.



  1. Syl Lobato July 21, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    You have certainly capture the swans in flight..they are just lovely..

    • Mia McPherson July 27, 2012 at 5:37 pm

      Thanks Syl, I think swans are lovely too.

  2. Susan July 13, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    What a wonderful capture Mia! You are so fortunate to be able to see these beauties regularly.

    • Mia McPherson July 27, 2012 at 4:37 pm

      Thank you Susan, I do look forward to fall/winter because of the swans.

  3. Merrill Ann Gonzales July 13, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Something about seeing these migrating swans….the soul wants to take wing…..

    • Mia McPherson July 27, 2012 at 4:36 pm

      Thank you Merrill, swans are so beautiful, especially in flight.

  4. M. Firpi July 13, 2012 at 10:19 am

    There is that V shaped flight pattern they have. I read they do this to conserve their energy. Each bird flies slightly above the bird in front of him, resulting in a reduction of wind resistance. Also they do it to communicate, to keep track of every bird in the group. Humans have copied this V pattern in aviation with fighter planes, for a whole different reason. What a pity! Nice colors and contrast!

    • Mia McPherson July 13, 2012 at 3:29 pm

      maria, I love their V-shaped flight pattern and it is fascinating how they use it to conserve energy. Thanks for your comment.

  5. Carol Mattingly July 13, 2012 at 9:30 am

    The black on their bodies are like dots in the sky. Carol

    • Mia McPherson July 13, 2012 at 3:26 pm

      Carol, thank you for commenting!

  6. Julie G. July 13, 2012 at 8:32 am

    Beautiful capture, Mia!

Comments are closed.