Outdoors

Distinguishing swans from snow geese is black and white


Snow geese take flight over a farmer's field inthe Skagit Valley, where thousands of the wintering birds can cause serious damage to crops. 
 (File Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Snow geese take flight over a farmer's field inthe Skagit Valley, where thousands of the wintering birds can cause serious damage to crops. (File Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)

WILDLIFE WATCHING — Should a hunter ever be excused for killing a trumpeter swan he misidentified as a snow goose?

Probably not.

Here are three notable reasons from Rich Myhre of the Everett Herald:

  1. Because of their white color, trumpeter swans look a little bit like snow geese. But trumpeter swans are entirely white, while snow geese have black wing tips.
  2. Trumpeter swans measure 6-8 feet from wing tip to wing tip, while snow geese measure only about 3 feet.
  3. Most important, snow geese can be hunted during waterfowl season, but there is never a legal time to shoot trumpeter swans.

For additional information about identifying swans, go to www.trumpeterswansociety.org.




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.


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