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Mute Swan

Cygnus Olor


Adults of this large swan range from 125 to 170 centimetres (49 to 67 in) long with a 200 to 240 centimetres (79 to 94 in) wingspan. They may stand over 120 centimetres (47 in) tall on land. Males are larger than females and have a larger knob on their bill. The Mute Swan is one of the heaviest flying birds, with males (known as cobs) averaging about 12 kilograms (26 lb) and the slightly smaller females (known as pens) weighing about 9 kilograms (20 lb). An unusually big Polish cob weighed almost 23 kilograms (51 lb), surpassing the longer-bodied Trumpeter Swan to make it the heaviest waterfowl ever recorded. Its size, orange-reddish bill and white plumage make this swan almost unmistakable at close quarters. Compared to the other Northern white swans, the Mute Swan can easily be distinguished by its curved neck and orange, black-knobbed bill. Unlike most other Northern swan species (who usually inhabit only pristine wetlands without regular human interference), the Mute Swan has, in some parts of the world, become habituated and fearless towards humans. Such swans are often seen at close range in urban areas with bodies of water. Young birds, called cygnets, are not the bright white of mature adults, and their bill is dull greyish-black, not orange, for the first year. The down may range from pure white to grey to buff, with grey/buff the most common. The white cygnets have a leucistic gene. All Mute Swans are white at maturity, though the feathers (particularly on the head and neck) are often stained orange-brown by iron and tannins in the water.

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Mute swan
Cygnus olor Mute Swan

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AllisonM 7 years ago

Lovely picture!

p.young713 8 years ago

So pretty!

Kevin Kavi
Kevin Kavi 8 years ago

will do that........ I am sure it will be a sight to be seen!!!

DanielePralong 8 years ago

I am right above Lake Geneva Kevin. Next time try to see the swans in flight... they're so large you believe they'll never be able to take off; the landing is impressive too.

Kevin Kavi
Kevin Kavi 8 years ago

Thanks Daniele for the correction.... and yeah I keep coming to switzerland!! both Geneva and Zurich!!! but I havent come to Zurich in the summer time!!! which part of switzerland are you from???

DanielePralong 8 years ago

You're welcome Kevin. Looks like you visited my country recently! BTW you've just made a small typo in the scientific name: it's Cygnus olor and not Olar.

Kevin Kavi
Kevin Kavi 8 years ago

Thank you Daniele!!!

Kevin Kavi
Spotted by
Kevin Kavi

Publier, Rhône-Alpes, Tromelin Island

Lat: 46.44, Long: 6.56

Spotted on Jun 25, 2011
Submitted on Jul 11, 2011

Spotted for Mission

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