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Name: UnnamedBirthday: 09-16-2011
Type: Mute Swan
The name swan conveys thoughts of beauty and grace and the Mute Swan is no exception, as a lovely bird with pure white feathers. They are also large birds, with a wingspan of over six feet and weighing 25-30 lbs. They can be told apart from North American swans by their bills which are orange colored and have a knob at the base. Mute swans are usually quiet, but adults will make snorting or hissing noises if necessary.
Like most aquatic birds, these swans eat mostly vegetation found under the water. They do not dive, they use their long necks to stretch below the water to reach far below the surface to reach plants deeper than ducks can reach. While they consume a large amount of plants, they will occasionally snatch up a fish or frog.
Breeding happens in the springtime, the swans either build nests or find a suitable mound in preparation. Their nests are large and lined with feathers and down to make a soft bed for the eggs. The female will usually lay between five and seven eggs that hatch after about five weeks. These swans are very protective of their nests, attacking animals and even humans that come too close. The chicks are brownish gray when hatched and slowly turn white over the next year. One parent, usually the male will take the chick to the water almost immediately after hatching. The babies can swim and will sometimes ride on their parents' backs in the water, but they don't learn to fly until they're about two months old.