Ask the Swan Specialist
Date: 13 June 2014
There are 7 species of swans and one subspecies of swan
All Northern hemisphere swans are white in color with southern hemisphere swans having some black coloration on their wings.
Northern Hemisphere Swans:
Whooper, Trumpeter, Tundra, Mute and Bewick Swans are Northern Hemisphere Swans with the Bewick swan being the European subspecies of the North American Tundra Swan.
Black (Australia), Black-Necked and Coscoroba Swans (South America) are Southern Hemisphere swans
Most swans will mate for life, but that is totally an individual swan and species attribute. The Whooper Swan has a 6% divorce rate.
Mute Swans are Sentinel birds in that they alert scientists to problems in the environment such as the presence of heavy metals, i.e., copper and lead and the presence of harmful micro-organisms. For years, it was thought that the Mute Swan was an invasive species, but current research now refutes this and shows that they are beneficial to the environment.
All species of swans like some ducks and geese, carry their babies (cygnets) on their backs. The Black-Necked Swan of South America carries the cygnets more than other swan species.
Cygnets are capable of swimming and eating within 24 hours after hatching. The parent swans have the responsibility of protecting the cygnets until they get older and can fend for themselves as well as educating the young swans on how to protect themselves from predators, preen and bathe so that they learn how to clean their feathers and keep them water repellent as well as general knowledge about how to be a swan.
The black/yellow coloration pattern on the beak of the Bewick Swan is just as individual as a human fingerprint.
Australian Black Swan male eyes are red in color except during mating season when they turn white in color.
We hope that these facts are beneficial to your school project.
The Regal Swan
Messages In This Thread
- Swans -- Whit -- 12 June 2014
- Re: Swans -- The Regal Swan -- 13 June 2014