Mute swan

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Mute swan
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Subfamily: Anserinae
Tribe: Cygnini
Genus: Cygnus
Species: C. olor
Binomial name
Cygnus olor
(Gmelin, 1789)
Swan couple in eaten by aquatic plants.

The mute swan (Cygnus olor) is a species of swan, and thus a member of the duck, goose and swan family Anatidae. It is native to much of Europe and Asia, and (as a rare winter visitor) the far north of Africa. It is also an introduced species in North America, Australasia and southern Africa.

Description[change | change source]

Measuring 125 to 170 centimetres (49 to 67 in) in length, this large swan is wholly white in plumage with an orange bill bordered with black. It is recognisable by its pronounced knob atop the bill.

When swimming, the mute swan holds its neck in a graceful "S" curve with its bill pointing downward. The whooper swans usually carry their bill level with their neck erect. The male frequently arches his secondary wing feathers over his back in an aggressive display posture.