Swans are majestic and graceful birds. They are extremely famous across the world and one specific species – the Mute Swan has a special place in Great Britain. The Mute Swans are owned by the monarch (the Queen)! That’s a different story but if you are interested in learning the general swan facts, this list will help you.
Let us begin the facts list without wasting further time but before that, let us take a look at the scientific classification.
Kingdom – Animalia
Phylum – Chordata
Class – Aves
Order – Anseriformes
Family – Anatidae
Subfamily – Anserinae
Genus – Cygnus
Type Species – Cygnus cygnus
Species – There are 7 of those. See the facts list below
General Swan Facts: 1-10
1. The closest relatives of swans are ducks and geese.
2. They are found in both the Southern and the Northern Hemisphere.
3. They live in temperate environments.
4. Swans are known for their streamlined bodies and webbed feet, which makes them extremely good swimmers.
5. They have curved and elongated necks.
6. Swans have nearly 25,000 feathers on their bodies.
7. In total, there are 7 different swan species and they are:
- Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
- Black Swan (Cygnus atratus)
- Black-Necked Swan (Cygnus melancoryphus)
- Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus)
- Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator)
- Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus)
- Coscoroba Swan (Coscoroba coscoroba)
8. The Tundra Swan has two subspecies – the Bewick’s Swan, and the Whistling Swan.
9. In the duck-goose family, the swans are the largest members.
10. In the Northern Hemisphere, the swans usually have orange beaks and white color.
General Swan Facts: 11-20
11. The swans in the Southern Hemisphere usually have a mixture of black, orange, or white and black with red beaks.
12. Swans, in general, have blackish or grayish colored legs.
13. The Black-Necked Swans have pink legs.
14. The beaks of the swans have saw-like edges it looks like they have teeth!
15. Swans in general measure anywhere between 56 and 62 inches.
16. Swans, in general, weigh 13 kilograms or 30 pounds.
17. Swans have very strong wings that can have a wingspan of up to 300 centimeters or 10 feet.
18. Swans are known for eating plant-based diets most of the time. However, they are omnivores.
19. In general, swans eat aquatic plants and seaweed from under the water but they also eat berries, seeds, and stems on land.
20. They also eat small fish, tadpoles, worms, and insects.
General Swan Facts: 21-30
21. Swans are monogamous, that is, they will mate with only one partner for the rest of their lives. In case one of the two in a mating pair dies, it is only then that the survivor will find another mate.
22. Swans will also breed in freshwater such as a slow-flowing river, lakes, ponds, marshes, etc.
23. Swans become capable of mating when they attain the age of 2 years. They will start mating during the winter season.
24. Some swans fail to find a mate until they attain the age of 7 years.
25. Swans display a courtship behavior before mating. In that courtship behavior, swans will shake their wings and nod their heads while facing each other.
26. The mating time can last anywhere between a few seconds to almost an hour.
27. A mating pair will usually build a nest between April to July.
28. Swans find areas with few disturbances, safe water, and abundant food supply for building nests.
29. The usual preference for building a nest is always an island on a lake but in case they don’t find an island, they will go for the banks.
30. Both the male and the female swans participate in nest building.
General Swan Facts: 31-40
31. Male swans are called cobs while the female swans are called pens.
32. The female swans lay eggs 2-3 weeks after mating.
33. Pens are the ones that brood and they do so for 6 weeks or until the eggs hatch.
34. The cobs, on the other hand, are responsible for protecting the eggs, his mate, and the territory.
35. Cobs are also the ones that ward of predators and intruders. Once the babies are born, even the mother protects them.
36. Baby swans are called cygnets. Cygnets will stay with their moms for up to 6 months.
37. Cygnets grow very quickly and by the time they are 3 months old, they nearly attain the adult size.
38. Swans are extremely territorials and they ferociously defend and guard their territory and family, even from competing for swan pairs.
39. In the wild, the swans can live up to 10 to 20 years.
40. Because the swans are pretty large, they don’t usually have a lot of predators. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have any predators.
General Swan Facts: 41-50
41. Humans are one of the primary predators. They often kill swans for their feathers and their meat.
43. There are some species of swans that are migratory or partially migratory. Some other species will simply live in the same place for their entire lives.
44. A group of swans in the wild is known by the name ‘herd.’ A group of swans in captivity is known as ‘fleet.’
45. Swans are fast fliers. They can fly at a speed of 60 miles an hour.
46. Swans, in general, are very loud and they make a variety of sounds including trumpet-like honking sounds. However, the Mute Swan is not that loud.
47. Swans are capable of sleeping on water and even on land. When the sleep on land, they do so standing on one leg.
48. The Black Swan is known for swimming with just one leg!
49. Swans get divorced! Yes, they get divorced. This is not a frequent thing but it happens.
50. Studies have shown that swans that have successfully bred have a divorce rate of 3%. Those that have not successfully bred have a divorce rate of 6%. However, this study was conducted on Mute Swans.
General Swan Facts: 51-60
51. Swans molt, that is, they will shed their old feathers, making way for the new feathers.
52. The molting season for the swans is summer and when they molt, they cannot fly for 6 weeks.
53. Water pollution is a big threat to the swans.
54. Swans are considered to be very intelligent. They can remember who has been kind to them and who was not!
55. Swans are big birds and they are one of the heaviest flying birds.
56. They need around 30 yards before they can take off and become airborne.
57. Swans have been victims of animal entertainment and that sucks!
58. The beak of a swan is called a bill.
59. Pens can lay anywhere between 3 and 9 eggs at a time.
60. On the IUCN list, Swans are marked as Least Concern because their population is fairly stable.
That completes our list of general swan facts. In case you know a few more, let us know through the comments sections!