Thursday, May 8, 2008

Are Mute Swans really Mute?

Swans are closely related to ducks and geese, but larger than them. The mute swan has an orange bill with a prominent black knob.

It swims with its neck held in a graceful shape. Infact, though named thus, mute swans are not mute. They make snorting noises and hiss when threatened. The wings of mute swan make a throbbing sound with each wing beat when they are flying.

They breed in summer. During this season the breeding pairs are territorial. The males can even be aggressive in defence of their nest and cygnets. But in winter, they feed in flocks. In order to nibble the underwater plants, they reach down with their long necks. Mute swans feed mainly on under water plants but also graze on marshland during water.

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