The TRUMPETER SWAN – Genus/Species: Cygnus buccinator
Perhaps the most famous Trumpeter Swan in literature is Louis, the Trumpeter Swan in E.B. White’s lovely children’s book The Trumpet of the Swan, published in 1970.
Louis is indeed a Trumpeter Swan who learns to play the trumpet, most notably at the Swan Boats at the Boston Public Garden.
But what is the real tweet-tweet on the Trumpeter Swan in real life? Here are a few little tidbits to pass along to your kids and grandkids to combine literature and life:
– The beautiful Trumpeter Swan was hunted for its feathers prior to the 19th century, making the swans nearly extinct. Quill pens and hats were popular items made from the feathers.
– In 1935, the Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge was established by the U.S. Government for the purpose of saving the Trumpeter Swan.
– North America is home to the majestic Trumpeter Swan.
– Trumpeter Swans form mate-bonds when they are very young (3 – 4 years old), and many are believed to mate for life. The breeding pairs swim together, play together and build nesting grounds near large bodies of water where there is plenty of vegetation and privacy. The female Trumpeter Swan (called a pen) lays 3 – 9 large eggs, one per day, and she rarely leaves the nest while the male Trumpeter Swan (called a cob) guards his mate and eggs. After about 34 days, fluffy pale gray newly hatched cygnets break through their shells. At 15 weeks, the cygnets learn to fly.
– The Trumpeter Swan’s most endearing characteristic is its deep trumpeting call… often compared to a horn on an old-time car or cab.
Pick up a copy of The Trumpet of the Swan and watch your kids and grandkids fall in love with Louis, the Trumpeter Swan. Talk about the real Trumpeter Swan while enjoying Louis’s adventures. Combining literature and real life makes learning and reading so special.
Join me here each day in August for AUGUST TWEET-TWEETS on 365 Days of Literacy for Kids! A little fun, a little learning and lots of “tweet-tweets!”