Local government feeds swans after snow in north China

Updated 2018-01-07 10:01:01 Xinhua

A local government in north China's Shanxi Province has been dispensing food at a whooper swan habitat due to heavy ice and snow.

Nearly 10,000 whooper swans migrate from Siberia to the Yellow River wetlands in Pinglu County to spend the winter every year. The 6,000-hectare wetland typically has a temperate climate and abundant food for the birds.

However, heavy snow has blanketed the area since early this week, pushing the temperature below freezing and burying the swans' favorite food source, wheat seedlings, under about 10 centimeters of snow.

The county government has prepared corn and Chinese cabbage to make sure the swans will not go hungry in the chilly weather.

"We put out 200 to 300 kilograms of corn and cabbage every day," said He Jianxi, a ranger at the wetland park.

Whooper swans, scientific name Cygnus cygnus, are large migratory birds that can be found in a number of locations, including the Arctic, Asia, Europe, Russia and the United Kingdom.

They can be distinguished from Bewick's Swans by their larger size, and from Mute Swans by their yellow bills. They are powerful fliers, able to migrate many hundreds of miles to their wintering sites by flying in large "V" formations.

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