Swan Neck and Body Length and Posture

Proportion of the Neck to Body Length

Trumpeter Swans have longer necks in proportion to their body lengths than do Tundras. There is no standard ratio formula, but this is a noticeable characteristic when the birds are either standing or swimming. It is not reliable in flight.

Size Information

Wing SpanWeightLength
Trumpeter84-96 in.21-30 lbs.60 in.
Tundra72-80 in.13-18 lbs.52 in.
Mute82-94 in.20-30 lbs.57 in.
Snow Goose36-44 in.4-6 lbs.27 in.


Trumpeters afloat or ashore, resting or in a mild state of alertness, generally have the neck kinked back at the base so that it appears to rise from the forepart of the back forming an angular C-shape (swimming swan) rather than from the very front of the body as in Tundra Swans. When in a state of alertness, Trumpeters hold their bodies at an angle as compared to Tundras which are held horizontal (standing swan). In general, body postures of Trumpeters are angular and Tundra postures are curved or round. Mute Swans generally hold the neck curved gracefully and bill pointed somewhat downward. Wings may be arched over the back giving a bulky appearance.