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What You Need To Know About Mute Swans



mute swansThe mute swan is a very large white waterbird. It has a long S-shaped neck and an orange bill with black at the base of it. Flies with its neck extended and regular slow wing beats. Mute swans breed in the British Isles, north central Europe and north central Asia.  Although strikingly elegant, mute swans (Cygnus olor) are one of the bay's most harmful species, edging out native waterfowl and destroying aquatic vegetation. This article will explore the many exciting aspects of the mute swans species from their population, behavior to their physical appearance.
The population trend for this species in the United States, as judged by the Breeding Bird Survey, has been steadily upward.  Population growth and range expansion of this species has increased the number of swan-related problems for people and native wildlife. Often, people mistake a large number of swans seen together as indication of a rapid increase in population. Owing to this assertive behavior, mute swans are also able to establish populations in new areas fairly quickly. 
Mute swans can be distinguished by their unique behaviors. They establish strong bonds when they pair up.  Mute swans feed almost exclusively on SAV (submerged aquatic vegetarian) like widgeon grass and redhead grass.  Mute swans occupy and defend relatively large territories of wetland habitat during nesting, brood rearing and foraging, and thus compete with native birds for habitat.  Mute swans fly at a rate of 50 to 55 miles per hour and don't usually breed before the age of three years. Mute Swans have been known to live for over 25 years, but most only survive to 5 or 6 years old.  The nesting period for mute swans begins in late March to April. 

Mute swans are large birds, measuring 144 to 158 cm. The wingspan is 2 to 2.5 meters. The two sexes are alike in appearance, except that males are generally larger than females. The plumage is white. They are best distinguished from North American swans by the knob at the base of the upper bill, and the color of the bill itself, which is orange, with the tip and base colored black. The head and neck may sometimes be stained brown from water and mud containing iron.
Mute Swans are one of the world’s largest flying birds, weighing twenty-five to forty pounds (10 to 18 kg).

As you can probably tell now, not only mute swans are one of the biggest birds but their unparalleled characteristics have attracted many people to breed them.

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