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UK Nature > Birds > Cygnus olor




Scientific Name: Cygnus olor
Common Name: Mute Swan

Cygnus olor, more commonly known as the Mute Swan, is the commonest swan seen in the UK, huge and white with a gracefully curved, S-shaped neck. The deep orange beak and large black knob separates it from the other two swans seen in the UK, namely Hooper and Bewick's.

Flies with its neck extended and regular slow wingbeats. The population in the UK has increased recently, perhaps due to better protection of this species. Cygnets start off grey then turn into brown juveniles which already show the distinctive black around the base of the bill.

They breed and winter on lakes, streams, rivers, estuaries, and marshes. A familiar bird throughout Britain, commonest in lowland areas. They can be remarkably tame and approachable - yet at other times, usually during the breeding season, they have been known to attack people who stray too near their nests.











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