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Encounters with Swans

Updated on April 7, 2014
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Rosie is a library media specialist. An avid reader and life-long learner, Rosie enjoys sharing her knowledge and expertise in many areas.

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Black Swan Sightings

Have you ever seen a black swan in person?

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Where Do Swans Live?

If you have had the great fortune of seeing a swan in a local lake or park, then you know how beautiful this sight can be. They are hard to miss because of their extraordinary size and their regal beauty. Recently, I was fortunate enough to see six swans in the same body of water. This body of water was a large lake, shaped more like a river, winding through a neighborhood and golf course. These six magnificent swans were all staggered apart, seemingly not together at all. One of them sat upon what looked like a nest, and spent the entire time I observed it, cleaning its feathers, paying no mind to my picture-taking only yards away. I was happy to get some close-up photographs, and anxious to get home and do some research about these extraordinary creatures we seldom get to see.


How Many Different Types of Swans Are There?

According to About.com, there are 7 species of swans worldwide, located on 5 continents. These are the Mute Swan, Trumpeter Swan, Tundra Swan, Black Swan, Black-necked Swan, Whooper Swan, and Coscoroba Swan. Each one is native to a different part of the world, however, they are often relocated to parks, zoos, or other man-made habitats where people can enjoy seeing them.

  • Mute Swan: The Eurasian mute swan is the most commonly seen swan in North America. These large birds have white feathers and an orange bill.
  • Trumpeter Swan: The Trumpeter swan also has white feathers but a black bill. It is an inhabitant of North America too, but seen less often as it is decreasing in number.
  • Tundra Swan: The Tundra swan is from Canada. It has a yellow bill with black and a white-feathered body.
  • Black Swan: The Black swan is from Australia. According to Birdsinbackyards, Black Swans live in salt-water, brackish, or wetlands. They are clumsy walkers, flying at night and sleeping during the day.
  • Black-necked Swan: The Black-necked Swan is native to southern South America and is found lagoons, lakes, and fresh-water marshes. It has a white-feathered body with the beautiful contrast of an entirely black neck. Like the Black and Mute Swans, it is mostly silent.
  • Whooper Swan: Considered to be one of the heaviest flying birds. The Whooping Swan can migrate thousands of miles and breed in subarctic Eurasia. They pair for life and live in the Northern hemisphere. They are the national bird of Finland.
  • Coscoroba Swan: Native to South America, it is the smallest breed of swan.

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Interesting Facts

  • Swans are related to geese and ducks.
  • They usually mate for life.
  • They are the largest waterfowl birds.
  • According to Wikipedia, they can grow up to 60 inches in length and weigh up to 33 pounds.
  • Their wingspan can be close to 10 feet.
  • They can fly up to 60 mph.
  • They have over 25,000 feathers..
  • They do not live in Africa or Antarctica.

The facts in this hub were assimilated from the following resources: Wikipedia.com, About.com, AnimalPlanet.com, and BirdsinBackYards.com.


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