Swan bird (Cygnus atratus) is the member of Anatidae family. There are 6 known living species of swans. In addition there are also many extinct species.
These birds are the largest waterfowl species. Their size is about 91 centimeters to 150 centimeters or 36 inches to 60 inches. They have weight of about 10 kilograms to 15 kilograns or 22 pounds to 33 pounds. They are heavy bodied birds that are adapted to fly and swim with greater speed. They are known as the fastest waterfowls. The average wingspan of these birds is 200 centimeters to 350 centimeters or 79 inches to 138 inches. The top speed exhibited by the swan bird is 50 miles per hour.
Male swans are known as cobs and females are called as pens. Both of them feed on aquatic plants. They are social and mate for life. They are nearly threatened because of excess pollution.
Swan Bird Food:
Swan birds are herbivores. They mainly feed on aquatic plants. They feed by the method called dabbling while swimming in which they tuck their one foot over their back to reach the vegetation present at the bottom.
They exclusively feed on leaves, stems, roots, shoots etc. They can also come to land to search food.
Swan Bird Baby:
Swan birds mate for life. They exhibit certain courtship rituals including swimming in synchronized manner, head to head contact (posturing) and bill dipping. They make noises and dance together while spending time with each other. The unique feature of black swan is its feathers that are used to attract a mate.
Female lays 3 to 8 eggs that are unmarked and pale in colour. After laying eggs, female starts incubating them and male starts guarding them. The incubation period is about 1 month. Male can also perform the task of incubation in rare cases.
After hatching, the young babies are called as cygnets. They have short necks and thick feathers. The young ones are capable of swimming and flying immediately after hatching but they still remain under the consideration of their parents. They remain brown or gray in appearance during first two years. They become sexually mature at the age of about 4 years.
Swan Bird Behavior:
Swan birds are social birds. They are well known for their bond with one mate for life. The monogamous nature of these birds has several advantages. These include learning from their failed reproductive strategies and develop better ones. They also share duties which include constructing nests. They exhibit long migratory routes so they have less time for finding a mate. That’s why lifetime bond with only one mate is necessary and time saving.
Though swans are loyal with their partners but some female black swans exhibit finding new mates because of unavailability to produce young ones with the old mate. One out of every seven eggs are the result of cheating in this species.
These birds possess aggressive nature towards the defense of their young ones. They exhibit busking which involves snorting, hissing and flapping their wings to escape from predators. They also exhibit gloating even though they have weak bones. They make some victory sounds after escaping from predators.
They also make some hissing, grunting and snoring sounds that emerge from the windpipe or breastbone for communication purposes.
Swan Bird Black And White:
White swans (Cygnus olar) are found in Northern hemisphere. They are widespread and can be seen in Europe, North America and Asia. They inhabit the areas of shallow lakes and rivers having vegetation. They migrate during the beginning of winter. They are territorial and live in the form of groups.
These birds have white feathers and orange beak. Males are larger in size as compared to females. The average size is about 55 inches to 63 inches and weight is about 23.4 pounds to 26.2 pounds. Their primary diet is aquatic plants. They are monogamous.
Black swans are lesser known species as compared to white swans. The scientific name of black swan is Cygnus atratus. They also inhabit shallow lakes.
They extend their neck up to 3 feet in the water in order to feed. They have black feathers and red beak. The young one they produce has white appearance and black bill. Their average size is about 43 inches to 56 inches and weight is about 8.2 pounds to 19.8 pounds. Males are slightly larger than females. They are herbivores and are social birds.
Some differences between black swans and white swans are,
- Black swans are found in Australia while white swans are found in northern hemisphere.
- Black swans have black coloured plumages while white swans have white coloured plumages.
- Black swans have red beak and white tip while white swans have orange beak and black tip.
Swan Bird Beauty:
Swan birds are known as the most beautiful birds. They have elongated and curved necks. In addition the white plumages make them look very attractive and unique. Their large size and fastest speed also make them stand out among others.
Swan Bird Can Fly:
Swan birds are large and audacious birds having long beautiful neck, big sized body and large wings and feet. Almost all the species of swan bird can fly high with great speed. They often migrate from colder places. They can fly up to 60 miles per hour. The few species of swans that can’t fly are called as captive swans or grounded swans.
Swan Bird Can Separate Milk From Water:
In Hindu mythology swans are always associated with saints and bright sun. They are closely related with ducks and geese. Great saints are called as Hamsa. It is also the vehicle of Brahma and Sarasvati. They all have white appearance that symbolizes purity. Hamsa is associated with holy Lake Manasa Sarovar and holy Ganges. It is the purest bird.
It is believed that Hamsa separates good things from bad things. Just like Hamsa, water birds also separate good water from bad water. These birds exhibit lamellae (sieve like structure) in their mouth that is used to separate water from mud. This myth leads to the belief that swans are able to separate milk from water.
Swan Bird Cost:
If you are interested in having pets like swans then you need a lot of care. Swans need large backyards in order to live. They can’t live in small housings like other pets. The average cost of swan is $13,125. Swans are expensive.
Swan Bird Facts:
Some of the facts about swan birds are as follows,
- Swan birds are the most beautiful birds.
- The most distinctive feature of swan bird is their large sized wings and feet.
- They inhabit shallow wetlands.
- They are herbivores.
- They live in flocks.
- They are declining because of predators like wolf, raccoon and humans.
- They feed on aquatic plants.
- They are closely related to ducks and geese.
- Black swans are the rarest species.
- They are the largest and fastest birds.
- There are many human mythologies regarding swans. It is believed that God Zeus was once a swan. The story of transformation of a princess into a swan lake by a curse is another myth. In addition, Ugly Duckling is a story of transformation of duck into a swan.
- The average lifespan of these birds is 20 to 30 years.
Swan Bird Habitat:
Swan birds are found in lakes, rivers, ponds and wetlands. They prefer temperate climates that’s why they migrate from colder regions. Mute swan is endemic to Europe. Later it was also seen in New Zealand, North America, Japan and South Africa Whooper swan is found in Eurasia, Black necked swam in South America, Trumpeter swan in North America and Black swan in Australia. Tundra swan inhabits North America and Asia and migrates to northern Mexico and Texas in winter.
Black Swan Bird Habitat:
Black swans are native to Australia. They are mostly found in south western and south eastern wetlands. Some species are also found in Japan and New Zealand. They inhabit swamplands, lakes and rivers. They mostly live near aquatic vegetation and rarely found in terrestrial areas.
How Big Are Swan Birds?
Swan birds are the largest species of waterfowl birds. The average size of swan bird is 91 centimeters to 150 centimeters or 36 inches to 60 inches. The largest species of swan birds are Mute swan, Whooper swan and Trumpeter swan. They all can reach up to 59 inches in size.
Is Swan A Real Bird?
In Hindu mythology swan or Hamsa is a part of love story between Damayanti and Nala. It is believed that it carries historical information, stories and messages between two strangers. Besides Hindu mythology, they are the largest water birds of Anatidae family.
Is Swan A Protected Bird?
Swan birds are protected birds. After years of protection these birds are recorded as least concern by International Union for Conservation of Nature. The trumpeter swan was declining very rapidly in 1935 but it is rehabilitated now.
Is Swan A Duck Or Bird?
Swan is a bird of waterfowl family. The closest relatives of these birds include ducks and geese. The difference between duck and swan is the larger size of swan. They have long neck, wings and feet. Whereas, ducks have short size with shorter necks. Ducks have more diversity in terms of food habits as compared to swans.
Swan birds are the largest and fastest species of waterfowl birds. They are one of the rarest birds. These birds are well known for their beauty and intelligent nature. They also possess aggressive nature because of their possessiveness towards their young ones. They are extremely wonderful birds that are very devoted to their mates.