Quick reference to the Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) in the Birds.
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Mute Swan
Cygnus olor
Quick Reference

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)

Quick Reference on the Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)

Mute Swan: Scientific name: Cygnus olor
Registered by Gmelin in 1789.
No subspecies recognized.
Distribution: Europe and Asia. Introduced in North America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Japan; in some places colonies are established.
Flight: Strong, capable of long journeys.
Status: Common.
Movements: Some populations are migratory, others are sedentary.
Habitat: Lakes and rivers with growing grasses on the sides. Brackish water. Protected sea coasts, sea.
Behavior: Sociable when not breeding. Territorial during breeding.
Pairs: For life. Some do “divorce”. Widowers could form new pairs, some by the next year.
Nesting: Colonies well spread out, or solitary.
Usually once a year.
Nesting Season: Spring, northern hemisphere.
Nest: Small floating islands, on land close by the water.
Made from grass and small branches.
Can reach two meters wide (more than six feet).
Clutch: From one to eleven eggs, usually somewhere in between.
Eggs: Greenish blue.
Length: 97 to 124 by 69 to 80 mm - average 114 X 73 mm.
Weight: 258 to 500+ grams - average 340 grams.
Volume: 187 to 469 cubic cm - average 321.1 cubic cm.
Incubation: 35 to 38 days, could be up to 41 days.
Done by the female - is possible that the male helps incubate.
Male remains by the nest.
Cygnets: Born with white feathers.
Next day after hatching weight from 180 to 248 grams.
Adulthood: From four to five years of age.
Food: Aquatic plants and algae. Could be complemented with small animals.
Description: Sexes are alike except for males are bigger (on average but there is overlap in the measurements) and having the black thickening on the beak larger.
Plumage: White.
Dimensions: Length: Males: average 1.53 meters (about 5 feet).
Females: average 1.27 meters (about 4 feet).
Weight: Male: 8.4 to 15.0 Kg. (18.5 to 33 pounds), average of 10.5 to 11 Kg. (23 to 25 pounds).
Female: 6.6 to 12.0 Kg. (14.5 to 26 pounds), average of 8.4 to 9.5 Kg. (18.5 to 21 pounds).
Wing: Males: 589 a 623 mm.
Females: 533 a 596 mm.
Head: Small in proportion to the body. Covered with feathers, except between the eyes and the beak.
Beak: Medium size in proportion to the head.
Males: 76 to 88 mm. - Females: 69 to 80 mm.
Wide and flattened.
Nostrils at the middle.
A black thickening grows on top.
Neck: Long. Covered with feathers.
Legs: Short. Dark gray.
Molt: Once a year.
From four to six weeks are not able to fly.
Summer to the end of the breeding season. (at least in some places: May to October, peak in July).
Not all molt at the same time.
Other names:
English: “White Swan”
Spanish: “Cisne Vulgar”, “Cisne Común”, “Cisne Mudo” and “Cisne Blanco”
French: “Cygne muet” and “Cygne tuberculé”
German: “Höckerschwan”

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)

More information on the Mute Swan (Cygnus olor):
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Last revision: February 1, 2007
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