Tag Archives: Cygnus cygnus

Whooper Swans arriving in flocks

Álft – Whooper Swans – Cygnus cygnus

Last weekend flocks of Whooper Swans could be seen flying along the Southeast coast, having just arrived over the Atlantic Ocean. Most Whooper Swans migrate to the British Isles in the autumn and come back in the spring.

Whooper Swans are very common in Iceland and can be seen all over the country.  Pairs stay together for life and  are true their old breeding places which they return to year after year. The chicks stay with the parents until it comes to the nest making when they chase their chicks from last year away. If the Whooper Swan is disturbed or feels threatened the pair may abandon the nest and eggs.

Whooper Swan family

This Whooper Swan family, with the grown up birds at the front and the back and the chicks between them, flew over Grímsnes in South Iceland yesterday, probably just newly arrived.

Álft – Whooper Swan – Cygnus cygnus

Whooper Swans (Cygnus cygnus) are now coming to Iceland in huge flocks from their winter grounds in the British Isles. They spread over the whole country in smaller groups and pairs seek their old breeding places with their chicks from last year. When it comes to the nest making the parents chase the grown up chicks away. Often fights break out because the chicks do not want to go .

Whooper Swans returning

The first Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus) flocks are now arriving in Iceland despite heavy winds and blizzards. Whooper Swans are breeding birds all over the country.


Mosts go to the British Isles in the winter. The Swan returns in the latter part of March and adult birds often go straight to their territory and the mating begins.  The Swan is loyal to its mate and the pairs stay together throughout their lives.


A Sick Visitor

Whooper Swan  (Cygnus cygnus) recuberating in the garden

On Christmas Day this Swan visited a house by the River Öflusá. When the family looked out their living-room window there it was in the snow and stayed there for four days.  Temperatures were down to minus 12° C and blizzards most of the days. The Swan wouldn’t eat anything and was obviously not feeling well. Birders thought that it had come there to die.

At noon on the fourth day, however, it stood up and walked to the river. It had some water to drink and was obviously very thirsty. The Swan was last seen on its way down the river that same day.

On the River Ölfusá in the Selfoss area there are now 48 Swans overwintering. That is a bit more than in recent years.

Whooper Swans on River Ölfusá