Mute swan

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The mute swan (Cygnus olor) is a swan belonging to the family Anatidae. The mute swan species is distributed in Europe and Asia. The swan species is a rare visitor to Africa and Indian Subcontinent.

Taxonomy of Mute swan

  • Scientific Name: Cygnus olor
  • Common Name: Mute swan
  • French: Cygne tubercul√©; German: H√∂ckerschwan; Spanish: Cisne vulgar;
  • Other names: Anas Olor J. F. Gmelin, 1789; Sthenelides olor (Gmelin, 1789); Cygnus immutabilis Yarrell, 1838;
  • Family: Anatidae › Anseriformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Species author: (Gmelin, 1789)
Cygnus olor species are considered closely related to C. melancoryphus and C. atratus.

Indian birds - Mute swan - Cygnus olor
Indian birds - Mute swan - Cygnus olor
Diego Delso-CC BY-SA 3.0


The mute swan species is a large bird, measuring 125 to 160 cm in length and weighing 6,600 to 15,000 grams. The wingspan is 200 to 240 cm. The female swan is smaller in size. The male bird has a large knob on the bill. The female has a smaller knob. The bill is orange with a black base. The plumage is white. They make varied grunting and snorting calls.


The mute swan species prefer freshwater wetlands. They inhabit ponds, lakes, reservoirs, marshes, lagoons, canals and slow flowing rivers.

Feeding habits

The mute swan species primarily feed on seeds, roots, leaves and shoots of aquatic vegetation. They are known to feed on grains and agricultural crops.


These swan species breed during spring season. The nest is a large mound made out of plant matter, usually at the edge of water or floating. The female lays about 4 eggs are incubates them. They are monogamous and the male guards the nest and the hatchlings.


The mute swan species are distributed in Central and North Europe, Central Asia, Russia, China and Mongolia. They winter in Southern Europe and Central Asia. They are rare visitor to Africa and Indian Subcontinent. These swans have been introduced into North America, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Movement Patterns

The mute swan species are partially migratory. They migrate to warmer regions after breeding. Some populations migrate locally.

Status and conservation

The global population of mute swan species is estimated to be 600,000 to 610,000 individual birds. These species have wide range and are considered least vulnerable. Lead poisoning by ingesting lead shot and lead fishing net weights, entanglement in the fishing nets and habitat destruction are the major threats in conservation.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these mute swan species and has listed them as of "Least Concern".

Biological classification of Cygnus olor
Species:C. olor
Binomial name:Cygnus olor
Distribution:Asia and Europe; introduced into North America; rare visitor to Indian Subcontinent and Africa;
Feeding habits:seeds, fruits, leaves, roots, rhizomes of aquatic plants, grains and agricultural crops;
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern

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Author: Diego Delso | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
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