Bewick's Swan

Cygnus columbianus bewickii

  1. Wildlife
  2. Birds
  3. Waterfowl
  4. Bewick's Swan


One of the two 'wild swans' that spend their winters in this country, Bewick's Swans arrive from Siberia in late autumn returning north again in the spring. They will often feed on fields during the day, eating crops, before coming in to roost on open water.

How to identify

The smallest British swan, Bewick's Swans are white with a yellow and black bill. They can be distinguished from Whooper Swans by the less extensive yellow markings on their bill.

Where to find it

Nests in Siberia. Spends the winter in a few areas of the country, mainly East Anglia, the Severn Estuary and Lancashire.


When to find it

  • October
  • November
  • December
  • January
  • February
  • March

How can people help

The survival of our waterbirds is threatened by the loss and degradation of many of our wetland habitats. The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife happenings, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and be helping local wildlife along the way.

Species information

Common name
Bewick's Swan
Latin name
Cygnus columbianus bewickii
Length: 1.2m Wingspan: 1.9m Weight: 5-7kg Average Lifespan: 9 years
Conservation status
Classified in the UK as an Amber List species under the Birds of Conservation Concern review and as a Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.