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Lewis & Clark as Naturalists
The Collection: Species Details Lewis and Clark as Naturalists
Bird    Species Name:
Cygnus columbianus

Common Name:
Tundra Swan


Fort Clatsop, Oregon   March 9, 1806

The Captains described two types of swans in their journals. The larger of these birds is thought to be the trumpeter swan (Cygnus buccinator) and the smaller is now called the tundra swan (Cygnus columbianus). As they noted in their extended journal entries, the tundra swan was more numerous than the trumpeter swan, a bird that became threatened with extinction at the turn of the 20th century but whose numbers have now increased. Neither bird had been formally identified at the time of the Corps of Discovery.

Journal Entries:

Capt. Clark, October 19, 1804--our hunters killed 4 Elk 6 Deer & a pelican, I saw Swans in a Pond & killed a fat Deer in my walk,...  more>>

References Ord, George in William Guthrie, A New Geographical, Historical, and Commercial Grammer; and present state of the several Kingdoms of the world. &c. Second American Edition, 2 vols, , 1815

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Tundra swan chest

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Tundra swan back

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Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus)

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