Ask the Swan Specialist

Re: Rose colored swans
By:The Regal Swan
Date: 27 May 2015
In Response To: Rose colored swans (John)

Hi John:

We have never heard this expression, so there are two possibilities that we could possibly render as a hypothesis:

First, there is no such thing scientifically known as a Royal or Polish Mute. A Mute Swan is the genus and subspecies known as Cygnus olor. However, swan keepers label Mute Swans with the normal coloration (reddish-orange beaks and black feet with cygnets taupe/grey in color) as Royal Mutes. A leucistic (lighter genetic color variation in which the beaks are orange and the feet are lighter in color and the cygnets are white in color) are known as Polish Mutes. This leucistic coloration came about hundreds of years ago when European swan keepers tried to produce an albino Mute Swan by repeatedly inbreeding Mute Swans.

At one time, they were known as a different species (Cygnus immutabalis) the unchanging swan. However, upon further research, scientists found that these were not a new species, only a leucistic (genetic color variation). Someone may be referring to the clay or coral colored feet of a Polish Mute Swan as some have paler almost pink colored feet.

The only other possibility is that the swans are exhibiting a pink coloration on their feathers. This is known as the Pink Feather Syndrome or the Flamingo Syndrome. The Regal Swan Foundation, Inc., along with Her Majesty's Swan Warden, Her Majesty's Swan Marker, and Wendy Hermon (Swan Support) (all are located in England) to determine what causes this coloration. We have found that the causative agent is of bacterial in nature. We are currently processing feather cultures through DNA Sequencing to determine if we can specifically identify a bacterium or bacteria responsible. This is a laborious process which we have been pursuing since 2004 and are still currently working. The reason is that the genetic genome base for bacteria is only approximately 3% complete, so this void in knowledge makes it a long process using DNA Sequencing at this time. We hope that this information is of benefit. Should you find a different meaning, please let us know. The Regal Swan

Messages In This Thread

Rose colored swans -- John -- 26 May 2015
Re: Rose colored swans -- The Regal Swan -- 27 May 2015