MUTE SWAN
 
Cygnus olor
 



DISTRIBUTION AND HABITAT
They breed in the British Isles, north central Europe and north central Asia. They winter as far south as North Africa, the Near East, and to northwest India and Korea.
 


DESCRIPTION
Mute swans are large birds, measuring 144 to 158 cm. The wingspan is 2 to 2.5 meters. The two sexes are alike in appearance, except that males are generally larger than females. The plumage is white. They are best distinguished from North American swans by the knob at the base of the upper bill, and the color of the bill itself, which is orange, with the tip and base colored black.
 
REPRODUCTION
Adults are not paired for life. Mute swans do form monogamous pairs for at least a season. Mating period stars in March or April. The female deposits 5-7 eggs, which incubate for 36-38 days. The chicks are able to fly in about 60 days.






     

                   
DIET
It feeds on the sub-aquatic and terrestrial plants, various algae and leaves.
 
SOCIAL BEHAVIOR
There is no mass migration, though in winter there may be gatherings numbering more than 100 individuals. Top flight speed is 50 to 55 mph.


 
LONGEVITY
In the wild, they can live up to 19 years and in the captivity up to 35 years.