Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mute Swan

Cygnus olor
Mute Swans are some of the most common Swans in the entire world. They are found across Europe and Asia, and have even been imported to North America, where they have also become widespread in many areas near larger bodies of water.

The common name comes from the fact that Mute Swans aren't especially vocal. They can make hisses, whistles, and snorts, but they aren't very loud due to the orientation of their trachea. Most of their communication comes from visual displays.

Mute Swans are monogamous, and tend to have the same mate for life, but this is not always the case. Swan divorce has been observed, and widowed Swans will choose new mates. In the cases of "remarriage" the younger Swan will almost always join the territory of the older Swan. Both mates help to incubate the eggs and defend the nest.

Because they are so widespread Mute Swans aren't in any real population danger. They do, however, pose slight threats to other species, especially in their non-native areas. In North America they compete with Loons and Trumpeter Swans for food and territory.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : Europe and Asia
Size : Length up to 65in (1.65m), Wingspan up to 95in (2.4m)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Anseriformes
Family : Anatidae -- Genus : Cygnus --Species : C. olor

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