Ohio DNR to waterfowl hunters: Know the difference between swans, geese

State-threatened trumpeter swans.

AKRON, Ohio — As Ohio’s duck and goose seasons begin, hunters are encouraged to familiarize themselves with waterfowl identification before heading out, according to the Ohio DNR.

Ohio waterfowl hunters frequently encounter a variety of species of birds when in the field and marsh, and some species of ducks, geese and swans may look similar. Some species, like the state-threatened trumpeter swans and occasionally migrating tundra swans, are protected.

Although waterfowl hunters in northeast Ohio rarely encounter snow geese, hunters should still be able to distinguish between swans and snow geese.

  • Trumpeter swan (threatened and protected species). Mature birds: pure-white plumage (sometime stained heads). Young birds: more gray. Long necks relative to the body size. Length 4-5 feet, wingspan 7 feet, weight 17-28 pounds.
  • Tundra swan (protected species): Mature birds: pure-white plumage. Young birds: more gray. Long necks relative to the body size. Length 4.5 feet, wingspan 5.5 feet, weight 8-23 pounds.
  • Canada goose (legal game species): Black-necked plumage with chin strap, black head, tan breast, brown back, long necks. Length 2.5-3.5 feet, wingspan 4-5.5 feet, weight 6.5-20 pounds.
  • Snow goose (legal game species): White with black wing tips, short necks relative to the body size. Length 2.5 feet, wingspan 4.5 feet, weight 3.5-7 pounds.

For more information about waterfowl hunting in Ohio, visit wildohio.gov.

 

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