Birds intimate with humans by Jwa

What kind of a bird produces that birdsong? What kind of birds are in Wolmyeongdong? Aren't you curious? Let's come to know through the class, 'the bird that is intimate with people.'

칼럼_완결칼럼_Birds intimate with humans

The beautiful, elegant whooper swan



A winter bird, the whooper swan

The Korean Peninsula, our nation, has four distinct seasons so we can usually see various animals and plants according to the change of season. It is now November, the time when winter begins, so we can see birds that inhabit various waters such as rivers, vast reclaimed lands, lakes and the sea shores. We call those birds ‘migratory birds’ and ‘winter birds’ since they are only observed in winter. 

These winter birds inhabit the vast grassland and wetland of Siberia, located below the North Pole. In spring, they breed and then spend summer there. When the winter comes, because of the harsh cold and lack of food, they form a large flock and migrate to the South. They spend winter in our country, Korea. Among these birds, the most typical winter bird in Korea is the whooper swan, and it is completely white and has a beautiful, elegant look compared to other birds. I am going to introduce the whooper swan to you today. 

The whooper swan that has many meanings

The whooper swan belongs to a class of swans and is written as ‘baek jo’ in Chinese characters. It is the biggest bird in the duck family, flies high and travels great distances. It migrates to Iceland, Scandinavia, Northern Russia, Central Asia, New Zealand, and parts of Eastern Asia such as Korea, the Chinese sea shore, and Japan.

Its feathers are white like snow, it has a long neck and is a mature and elegant bird. It has been made famous by Tchaikovsky’s composition, Swan Lake. It symbolizes flawless purity and mystery in mythology, and elegance, nobility, and courage in the Far East. In the Bible also, it is one of the holiest birds and symbolizes Jesus. It is a symbol of peace and tranquility in American movies, literature, music, and dance, and, because of the swan’s monogamy, it is also symbolic of the life of a couple who are faithful and sincere in their marriage. In Britain it symbolizes loyalty and power, so it is the bird that represents the royal family and all the swans that are appeared/observed in that country are owned by the royal family.

Whooper swan is seen in Korea among mute swan, whooper swan, swan, and black swan.  

There are four kinds of swans; mute swans, whooper swans, swans and black swans. As for the swans that migrate to the Korean Peninsula, they are the mute swans, whooper swans and swans. These three species are designated as natural monuments and are protected. They are also classified as endangered wild animals so they are managed and protected by the nation. 


Among them, the whooper swan is a common bird in Korea. Every year, 5,000 to 6,000 whooper swans migrate to Korea in October, stay until March, and migrate back to Siberia. 

The height of a whooper swan is about 1.5 meters and the wingspan is about 2.4 meters. Both female and male are pure white and the cygnets are gray-brown. They lay three to seven eggs every other day between the end of May and the beginning of June. After they finish laying eggs, three days later, the female starts to incubate them by herself. The eggs hatch thirty-five to forty-five days after incubation. They usually eat the stems of aquatic plants from freshwater or berries from land but they also eat aquatic insects and small animals that inhabit freshwater. 

In order to observe a swan right now, you could go on a bird-watching field trip to a famous Bird Sanctuary close by. If you go to a migratory bird searching team for that area or an Eco Experience Center, you could see the mysterious image of swans through binoculars(field glass) or a telescope(spy glass) while receiving guidance from a natural ecology commentator.

Among the creations of God, they are great masterpieces that fly in the sky. I hope that you can take a break from your daily life once in a while and feel the grace of the Holy Son Lord through the healing of nature.


다른 칼럼의 최신글