40 Mute Swan Facts You Must Learn

by Sankalan Baidya
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mute swan facts

Swans, in general, are quite majestic birds. In this article, in particular, we are going to learn about the Mute Swan facts. Mute Swan is one of the 7 different species of swans available in this world. Over time, we will be covering the remaining species. For now, the Mute Swan is on our list.

So, let’s get started!

Kingdom – Animalia

Phylum – Chordata

Class – Aves

Order – Anseriformes

Family – Anatidae

GenusCygnus

SpeciesC. olor

Now that we know the classification, let us take a look at the facts.

Mute Swan Facts: 1-10

mute swan on lake
A Beautiful Mute Swan

1. Mute Swans belong to the family called Anatidae, which is the family of the waterfowls.

2. The Mute Swan is endemic to Eurosiberia. It, however, migrates to the far north of Africa. This migratory behavior is quite rare.

3. Outside the native lands, the largest populations of the Mute Swan can be found in North America. However, in North America, it is an introduced and invasive species.

4. Compared to the other swan species, Mute Swans are very less vocal. This explains why they are called ‘Mute.’

5. Mute Swans are known for their distinctive fully-white plumage and an orange beak that black bordering.

6. They also sport a pronounced knob on the top of their beaks. In the case of males, the knob is larger.

7. Adult Mute Swans are 55 to 63 inches or 140 to 160 centimeters long. However, some bigger ones can measure up to 67 inches in length with a wingspan of 200 to 240 centimeters or 79 to 94 inches.

8. Males are larger than females.

9. Mute Swans, in general, are the second largest waterfowl species in the world. The first position is taken by the Trumpeter Swan. Don’t be fooled though! Male Mute Swans can pretty often match and even exceed male Trumpeter Swans.

10. Among the flying birds, Mute Swans are one of the heaviest!

Mute Swan Facts: 11-20

mute swan cygnets
Mute Swan Cygnets

11. Male Mute Swans are known by the name ‘cobs.’ The female Mute Swans are known by the name ‘pens.’

12. The average weight of cobs is 10.6 kg to 11.87 kg. The average weight of the pens is 8.5 kg to 9.67 kg.

13. Swan babies are called cygnets.

14. Mute Swan cygnets are not bright white like the adults. They usually boast a dull grayish-black bill and they have gray plumage.

15. There are some white cygnets. However, they are white because they carry a leucistic gene.

16. The under-feathers or the down in the cygnets are either white or gray or buff.

17. Once the Mute Swan cygnets reach the age of 1 year, their feathers will turn white. The down will be replaced by flight-feathers, and the bill will turn orange.

18. The cygnets attain nearly the adult size by the time they are 3 months old.

19. Some adult Mute Swans may have orange-brown feathers. That color usually comes from staining caused by tannins and iron in the water.

20. Mute Swans are known for building their nests on large mounds. They build mounds using water vegetation.

Mute Swan Facts: 21-30

mute swan facts - a couple
A Mute Swan Couple

21. Mute Swans usually find some islands on lakes to build those mounds. In case they don’t find any islands, they will build the mounds at the very edge of the lakes.

22. Mute Swans are monogamous and a pair mates for life. They will keep using the same nest, again and again, every year. They will simply restore it or rebuild it whenever necessary.

23. Mute Swans are extremely territorial. In a small lake, you can only find a single pair. They can, however, be seen in colonies provided there is a lot of space and there is no scarcity of food.

a mute swan with cygnets
A Mute Swan Swimming with Cygnets

24. Mute Swans become extremely aggressive when it comes to defending their mates and their offspring.

25. Their defensive strategy includes a loud hiss to scare off the intruders or predators. If that is not sufficient, they will resort to physical attacks.

26. In case they physically attack, they will first hit the intruder or the predator with the bony spurs present in their wings, followed by biting using their large bills.

27. The cob is usually the one that defends its territory and protects its family.

28. Mute Swans are known to not only attack dogs (even large breeds) in defense but also overwhelm them and drown them.

29. The common predators of Mute Swan are coyotes, bears, lynxes, raptors, and felids. These predators usually go for the weaker adult Mute Swans and cygnets because the healthy Mute Swans are capable of warding off the predators most of the time.

30. In Great Britain, the Mute Swans are associated with the monarch and hence, they enjoy a high level of protection. Even if the felids attack and kill Mute Swans, it is considered criminal.

Mute Swan Facts: 31-40

mute swan taking flight - mute swan facts
A Mute Swan Taking Flight on Lake

31. The pose that the Mute Swans take for threat display is known as busking. In this pose, they will typically keep their wings half raised and hold their necks curved backward.

32. Mute Swans are known to mourn the death of their mating partner or cygnets. In case a Mute Swan loses its mate, it will either fly off to join a flock or will stay away from the places where its mate lived.

33. Pens are known for laying 4 to 10 eggs and brood for 36 days.

34. The cygnets hatch between May and July.

35. The cygnets get the ability to fly when they are 120 to 150 days old.

36. Though the Mute Swans are least vocal of all swan species, they do make a variety of sounds. Hissing is what they use to scare predators, intruders, and competitors.

37. Snorting, hoarse whistling, and grunting are what they use when they communicate with the cygnets.

mute swan in flight
A Mute Swan in Flight

38. The vibrant throbbing sound that the Mute Swans make with their wings while flying is unique to this particular species. The sound can be heard from a distance of 1 to 2 kilometers.

39. The Mute Swan is naturally found in Europe’s temperate areas, and across the Palearctic.

40. They often migrate to northern latitudes of Asia and Europe, North Africa, and the Mediterranean.

That concludes our list of Mute Swan facts. In case you think these aren’t sufficient for you, you can always ask us to find a few more facts for you. All you need to do is to drop a comment!

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