MUTE SWAN


Cygnus olor


Description:

They are called Mute Swans and are an introduced species from Europe. Although ours don't appear to be bothered by humans, in general, these birds tend to aggressively defend their nesting territory. The baby birds, which are called cygnets, are gray and downy after hatching. Also, in general, these birds do not mate for life. So ours at Lake Murray may be somewhat unique in that respect.


Appearance:

All white plumage. Orange bill. Black forehead, eyestripe, and legs. Smaller than a Trumpeter Swan. 36 to 40 inches in length.


Habitat:

Lakes, ponds, and freshwater marshes with dense vegetation.


Nesting:

4-6 gray or blue-green eggs, laid at 2 day intervals, with a 35-41 day incubation period. Fledging occurs 115-155 days after hatching. The nest is a large mud mound lined with feathers and down. The nest is constructed around March-May and is usually found near a lake, pond, or mash edge.


Observed Locations:

  • Lake Murray, La Mesa





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