(Cygnus columbianus)

Spring Visitors to Southern Ontario

Tundra Swans are the most widespread and numerous species of swan in North America and there are two distinct populations of these birds. One is the the Eastern population and the other, the Western population.

Tundra Swan, Aylmer

It is the Eastern Population only that travels through Southern Ontario, as they make their Spring migration between their Atlantic coast wintering areas and arctic coastline breeding grounds.

These birds spend their winters in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, USA, and up to 60,000 of them fly through this area in spring.

The Tundra Swan (formerly named the Whistling Swan) is identifiable by its black beak and has a small patch of yellow close to the eye.

Mute Swans have an orange and black beak, and the Trumpeter Swan has a completely black beak.

The male Swan is known as a "Cob" and the female is known as a "Pen" and it is said that these birds mate for life.

The Tundra Swan is the smallest of the three species.

Tundra Swan Viewing Aylmer, Aylmer Wildlife Management Area, Hacienda Road, Ontario

Here, the first Tundra Swans have arrived . . . . . . there will soon be more.

It is impossible to predict with certainty, the exact time of the beginning and the peak of the migration, however in my experience the swans are seen in this area from mid to late March and for about three weeks afterward.

The timing of the migration depends, I suspect, upon the weather conditions.

Mid-March to Early April
This should be the peak of the Tundra Swan Spring Migration
Watch this space for more information


The Main viewing stand to view Tundra Swans and other migrating waterfowl is behind the Ontario Police College.
There are paved trails where you may walk to look for other early spring birds.
Directions from London: take Elgin Rd 73 south towards Aylmer from Hwy 401, turn left (east) onto College Line, then right onto Hacienda Rd and watch for swan signs.

It is possible to observe many other birds, both migratory and non-migratory species at the Aylmer Viewing Area and I have seen Canada Geese , Mergansers, Teals, Mallard, Wood Ducks and many other water fowl.

There are always the more common birds too, such as Robins - which have also just arrived back in this area from wintering in the south and which have arrived here just ahead of the swans.

Tundra Swans at the  Wildlife Management Area, Hacienda Road, Aylmer

This picture was taken the following day . . . now there are a few more birds

The Swans stop over at several staging areas around Southern Ontario and can be observed by the public in these places.

* Long Point

* Wildlife Management Area - Aylmer

* Rondeau Provincial Park

* South of Grand Bend in the fields between the Lambton Museum and Northville

migrating Tundra Swans resting in Aylmer, Spring 2019

These pictures, above, of the migrating Tundra Swans near Aylmer, Ontario, was taken March 24, 2019

Call 519-773-7926 (773-SWAN) for Aylmer updates on the migration.

This mass migration takes about three to four weeks for all the birds to pass through and is a spectacular sight to see.

The Aylmer Wildlife Management area has bathrooms and a large parking area, and it is also possible to observe the birds from the "Hide" shown below.

In this picture most of the birds have arrived at the wetlands where they will stay for between a couple of days and two weeks before they leave to complete the remainder of their journey

The Wildlife Management Area is located beside the Ontario Police College on Hacienda Rd, Aylmer and has 25 acres of wetland habitat.

Tundra Swans viewing Aylmer, Ontario


From Highway 401 follow Elgin Rd south towards Aylmer and watch for College Line on your left where you will turn east.

At Hacienda Rd turn right and watch for the Swan signs on your left at 10594 Hacienda Road.

From Tillsonburg and all points east, follow highway 3 until the curve at Hacienda Road, just before you reach Aylmer, turn right and watch for the right turn, just before the Ontario Police College entrance.

To read reports of Swan sightings from previous years, click here
Archived Tundra Swan Sightings

It's Spring - let us know when you see the Tundra Swans .......

When you spot them this Spring, let us know where and when - they should be arriving in Southern Ontario in early March ..... let us know - our readers would love to know when these magnificent birds arrive in this area.

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

I've seen about 60 so far! 
It was approximately 7 pm Wednesday February 28. I was standing outside a Starbucks and heard them coming. At first I thought they were Canada Geese …

Swans Sighted Yesterday 
On February 27th Linda from Paris reported ... I saw five Tundra Swans on Barringer lake yesterday. On February 28th around 9:00 am, Raymond reported …

Wildlife Management Area - Aylmer 
Last weekend, my fiancée and I went to visit the Wildlife Management Area which is beside the Ontario Police College, in Aylmer, Ontario. There were …

Tundra Swans seen on Lake Wabukayne in Mississauga Ontario 
On March 24th 2014 I saw Three Tundra Swans (O78, E75, H18), resting overnight near Lake Wabukayne in Mississauga Ontario Canada. They left that evening …

Pink Tundra Swans 
Several of our readers have written to tell us about their Tundra Swan sightings. On Sunday 10th March 2013 a reader tells us that about 7pm near Freelton, …

2013 Migration started! 
March 10 2013-between West Lorne and Glencoe, Ontario, 10:00 am, about 500 swans in several large flocks....

On Big Rideau Lake 
September 11, 2012. I came across a pair of Whistling / Tundra Swans on a small lake off Big Rideau Lake yesterday afternoon. I have never seen them …

Early Migration February 2012  
Three of our readers have recently written to tell us about their Tundra Swan sightings. Debbie from Hagersville, Ontario says ..... February 2012 - …

Waterloo Swans 
Three of our readers have sent us reports of their recent sightings of the migrating Tundra Swans. Karin says - I live in Waterloo Ontario - there …

2011 Tundra Swan Sightings 
Symen Salverda , of Port Burwell reported seeing the migrating Tundra Swans in this area on March 2nd, in Port Burwell, Ontario. THEY'RE HERE! Sabrina …

Point Abino Ontario Not rated yet
Quite a few dozen spotted February 25th 2021 on Point Abino Bay.

The Migrating Tundra Swans Not rated yet
April from Paris, Ontario reported ... My husband and I saw massive white birds flying overhead on a bike ride near Paris, Ontario on March 24th. I haven’t …

Swans near Aylmer Not rated yet
Driving along Pressey Road near Walkers Line, just east of the town of Aylmer, Ontario, yesterday I saw a field of Swans on the south side of the road. …

Tundra Swans at the Aylmer Wildlife Management Area Not rated yet
Hubby and I went to see the Tundra Swans at the Aylmer Wildlife Management Area yesterday, Friday, March 23rd 2018. There were lost of people with cameras …

Tundra Swans seen around Southern Ontario Not rated yet
Tony Grant wrote to say ... June 16 2016 we live on the Shadow river in Rosseau, Ontario, back on June 14 we saw a swan on the river a little …

Swans in farmer's field on Concession Road 13 Not rated yet
In early March my husband and I travelled to Long Point hoping to capture a glimpse of the Tundra Swans. We stopped at Big Creek and drove to the beach …

Tundra Swans in Burlington Bay Ontario Not rated yet
Burlington Bay - week starting the 7th March all week the Tundra Swans have been resting just out off the pier. On Tuesday I counted around two hundred …

Migrating Tundra Swans March 12 2016 Not rated yet
I was out for my morning walk and heard what I thought to be people hollering at each other from a distance, but then realized it was coming from high …

Tundra Swan sighting February 10, 2016 Not rated yet
Today is February 10, 2016. While driving between Woodstock and Ingersoll, Ontario, along Beachville Road I saw a small flock of about 8 swans flying. …

Tundra swans at Puslinch Not rated yet
Pond on Town Line 10 just off Gore Road in Puslinch Ontario. There are just two, who were sitting along the side of the road, not in the pond …

Tundra Swans near Aylmer - March 2015 Not rated yet
My girlfriend and I went to look at the Tundra Swans at the Aylmer Wildlife Management Area last weekend. There were thousands of Swans there, feeding …

April 3 on Perth Rd 44 Not rated yet
Hundreds and hundreds! Wow!

Friday March 28 2015 in Long Point Not rated yet
There are hundreds of them in the water. Where the open water was. Many were flying. Never seen that many ever in my life. At the most I have seen …

More Burford Swans Not rated yet
Again today I saw two large groups of Tundra, Trumpeter and Mute swans north of Burford, Ontario, on the 6th Concession, West of Lions Park. One group …

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Tundra and Trumpeter Swans in Burford Not rated yet
North of Burford, Ontario, West of Lions Park on 6th Conc. Easily several hundred were in a farmer's field. April 5/14

2014 first Tundra Swans seen over Dunnville Not rated yet
Two small groups, one three birds, one group of perhaps 12-14 birds spotted over Dunnville late afternoon of March 22, 2014. Deb Zyn

Long Point Swans 2014 Not rated yet
Karen from London, Ontario, wrote to say ..... Saturday, March 8, 2014 at Long Point, four Swans flying west over the causeway, bay and lake frozen. …

March 29, 2013 Not rated yet
I live just out side of Brantford, This is the first year we have had tundra swans in our pond, they arrived March 29, 2013, and still here April 1. …

Tundra Swans around Sheffield  Not rated yet
We have had a flock of Tundra Swans around Sheffield, Ontario, since March 14th at least. The flock is very large, I would say there must be a thousand …

March 24, 2013 - Sheffield, Ontario  Not rated yet
Tundra swans have been in the fields surrounding Sheffield for over a week now. At any one time, you can see several hundred in one place or flocks …

March 22, 2013 Not rated yet
We were driving along highway 407 in the Mississauga area between highway 403 and the 401 at 1:30 pm Friday, March 23rd. There's a wet-lands area, …

The Swans are at Conestoga Lake Not rated yet
March 18th 2012 They have been at Conestoga Lake now for a week - amazing!! The song is phenomenal! They seem to spend the day near Drayton, along …

Tundra Swans in Amaranth, Ontario  Not rated yet
For the past week, approx. 200 Tundra Swans have been spending days in a corn field - beautiful thing to see. Hopefully have photos soon to add.

Cambridge Tundra Swans Not rated yet
Today is March 11th and I saw a flock of, what I thought were, Geese coming from a distance. I remarked to my dog, "Oh, the Geese are back!" (not that …

A Morning Gift Not rated yet
March 10th 2012, 11.00am Whilst running my dog in woodland off county road 34 between Cambridge and Guelph, we heard sounds rather like yapping …

Milton, Ontario Not rated yet
Driving home on March 8th 2012, at approx 5:00pm, I saw flashes of brilliant white against the heavy storm clouds which I thought at first were flocks …

Tundra Swans Not rated yet
Tuesday, March 6th 2012 When driving down Centennial Avenue in St Thomas, Ontario, just past highway #3, the field had about 75 Tundra Swans eating …

Not surprised Not rated yet
I've been seeing Swans at the quarry in Port Colborne all winter. They usually fly higher than the Geese and have a fainter 'honk' to them. When I …

Tundra Swan Sightings March 2 2012 Not rated yet
Two of our readers wrote to us today to tell us about their Tundra Swan sightings. David & Janice said ..... We live in the small hamlet of Westover …

February 28, 2012 Not rated yet
We were in our driveway on the south side of St Thomas and a large flock of Tundra Swans flew over, they were headed south east. The sun was very …

Point Pelee National Park Swans Not rated yet
I was birding in the National Park on the 17th of February 2012, when I spotted about a dozen Tundra Swans off the east beach. I walked down the Tilden …

Tundra Swans February 2012 Not rated yet
On February 19th 2012, my family and I were driving along the back roads from St Thomas to Port Dover, Ontario, and were driving along the edge of Lake …

Am I the first to see them? Not rated yet
Out hiking in the open fields just south of the Napanee River, when a large flock of 17 birds flew over at low altitude. Their unusual call made them …

Tundra Swans in Pennsylvania? Not rated yet
I took the attached photos on March 16, 2011 at White Heron Lake near Marshalls Creek, Pennsylvania. The swans (I think they are Tundra Swans) arrived …

Highway 59 South, Woodstock Ontario Not rated yet
On my way to work on March 31, 2011, I passed a farmer's field just south-east of Woodstock, Ontario, on Highway 59, which was filled with likely hundreds …

Swans on the pond Not rated yet
There are two Swans that have been swimming in the pond behind the Aberfoyle Mill Inn, in Aberfoyle, Ontario (near Guelph). I'm not sure if they are …

Two Swan sightings Not rated yet
We have received two more reports of Tundra Swan sightings in the area, Ted from Strathroy says - This was very exciting - there was a large flock in the …

Cockshutt Road and County Road 10 Not rated yet
Christine, one of our readers from the Brantford area, sent us this report - There is also a spot on County Road 10 where they go to rest at night. At …

Tundra Swans south of Aylmer  Not rated yet
I was on my way home from work in Aylmer, when I noticed a bunch of Tundra Swans in a field on March 17 2011, and I didn't have my camera, so, the …

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Tundras in Vienna Not rated yet
My Wife was outside taking pictures of the morning sun, and listening to the songbirds beginning to return, when she heard the Tundra Swans . She …

Tundra Swans Not rated yet
We went to Long Point yesterday to see the Tundra Swans and found we couldn't get close enough. We got back into the car and went off to Aylmer …

Sightings near Sarnia Not rated yet
On Friday March 11, 2011 in a field just east of Sarnia, Ontario, there were about 50-60 Tundra Swans mixed with a couple of hundred geese and ducks. …

Mar 12, 2011 Not rated yet
Saw a long Tundra Swans V-formation with some Canadian Geese flying over the mouth of the St Clair River heading north (border of Point Edward and …

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Links to The Tundra Swan

Past Tundra Swan Sightings - 2006 - 2010
Tundra Swan sightings in southern Ontario in past years, check out the locations and dates where these beautiful birds were observed.

Naturally Elgin Website - Tundra Swans (les Cygnes)
Check out the Spring Migration information at the site of the Wildlife Management Area in Aylmer

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