Whooper swans in Lake Kussharo, Japan
© Darrell Gulin/DanitaDelimont.co
An elegant creature for a majestic setting. These all-white birds with yellow-and-black bills, gliding on the mirror of Lake Kussharo in Japan, are whooper swans—the Eurasian equivalent to the North American trumpeter swans. Named for their loud 'whooping' call, these beauties, with a wingspan between 2 to 3 metres, are one of the world's heaviest birds that are able to fly. While whooper swans are Finland's national bird, they only spend their breeding season there. Those swans, as well as others in various northern areas migrate to warmer, often coastal areas when cold weather sets in. All that travel doesn't ruin their relationships—these waterfowl form strong, monogamous pairs that can last for life.