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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mute Swan, Cygnus olor

Mute Swan

Aggressive bird, entirely white, orange bill with large black basal knob and naked black lores. Curved neck is often stained with pigments from iron or algae. Legs and feet are black. Feeds on aquatic plants collected from bottom. Direct flight with strong steady wing beats. Prefers freshwater, salt marshes, and protected bays. The familiar pose with neck curved back and wings half raised, known as busking, is a threat display. There have been many reports of Mute Swans attacking people who enter their territory. Their wings are believed to be so strong that they can break a person's arm with one hit.

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Mute Swan - orange bill
Trumpeter Swan - black bill
Whooper Swan - yellow and black bill


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Ref - What Bird

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