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Mute Swan
Mute Swan
Bird. One can guess from the name that mute swans don't have much to say. They do, however, hiss when threatened. Swans are the largest of the water birds. Males weigh about 11 kg (24 lb) and females about 9 kg (20 lb). Their wingspan can be 2.5 meters (8 ft) wide! Swans fly in a V-shaped formation when flying in groups. While a female is incubating eggs, her male partner becomes very territorial, protecting his mate. Pairs stay together for a season, but they often do not mate for life. Baby swans are called “cygnets.” They are gray and downy when born, taking a year to turn white.
Scientific Name Lifespan
Cygnus olor 5 to 6 years on average
Diet
Omnivore. Mostly vegetarian, they eat water plants and algae. Occasionally they eat insects, fish, and crustaceans.
Predators and Threats
Being large, strong birds, they have few natural enemies. Foxes sometimes attack. Pollution, fishing equipment, and power lines are bigger threats.
Habitat
Wetland areas including ponds, lakes, marshes, and sheltered bays; originally from Europe and Asia, they are now also found in North America. Some migrate to warmer areas during winter.