Swan Fun Facts and Information

With Valentine’s Day being so near, we’re going to share some facts about an animal love associated with love: the swan!

Swan with Baby on Back1. There are six species of swans, most of them living in the Northern Hemisphere. They are the mute swan in Europe, the black-necked swan in South America, the whooper swan in Europe, the black swan in Australia, the trumpeter swan in North America, and the tundra swan in Eurasia and North America.
2. Swans are the largest types of waterfowl. Their wingspans can reach up to 10 feet across.
3. For a long time it was believed that black swans did not exist. The black swan was first thought to represent a possibility of something that could exist but didn’t and, upon Europeans’ first sightings of black swans, they came to represent something surprising and unexpected.
4. Male swans help their mates build their nests and even incubate the eggs. Most water birds do not have this level of participation in parenthood from the fathers.

 

Swan Floating on Water5. Some of the oldest extinct ancestors of modern-day swans lived in the Mediterranean area and stood at over five feet tall. They were most likely to be flightless.
6. Swans are monogamous and choose a mate when they are about three years old. The only reasons for changing partners is in the event of the death of one of the pair or if they fail to breed successfully.
7. Swans are very territorial and will attack anything which they perceive as a threat to their chicks. This includes humans. Swans have been seen to exhibit more aggression for other species than competition between themselves.

 

Baby Swans on Water8. The mute swan has a misleading name: they do actually make some noises, such as grunting or whistling. Mute swan chicks can also squawk if they are upset. British folk stories said that as a mute swan died, they would sing a beautiful song. This is the origin of the phrase “swan song”,
9. Whooper swans are so heavy that they need to stay in the water most of the time or their legs wouldn’t be able to support their body weight. The preferred habitat of the whooper swan is marshlands. They can be found in most of Northern Europe and Asia.

 

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