Ask the Swan Specialist

Re: Brown swans, white siblings and parents
By:The Regal Swan
Date: 6 October 2015
In Response To: Brown swans, white siblings and parents (Connie)

Hi Connie:

All Mute Swans are scientifically known as Mute Swans. However, swan keepers call the swans either Royal Mutes or Polish Mutes. Again, no scientific name, just a name that the swan keepers can identify.

Royal Mutes are the normal coloration which has orange/red bill and black feet as adults. The cygnets are taupe/grey in color with black legs and feet. Once they reach 6 months of age, their feathers under the wings will begin to turn white with the white coloration spreading throughout the body. Once they cygnets reach approximately 1 year of age, the bills will turn reddish orange and the entire body will turn white in color.

Polish Mutes are a leucistic (genetic coloration) which was produced centuries ago when swan keepers in Eastern Europe kept inbreeding the swans in order to get a white swan (an albino). This inbreeding created a more white/faded coloration and some swans still carry this gene. Polish Mute swans have orange bills as adults with light taupe/grey colored legs and feet. Cygnets (baby swans) are white in color with light colored legs and feet. Their bills will turn orange when they reach approximately 1 year of age.

So, your family of swans has a mixed brood of Royal and Polish Mute Swans. The Regal Swan

Messages In This Thread

Brown swans, white siblings and parents -- Connie -- 5 October 2015
Re: Brown swans, white siblings and parents -- The Regal Swan -- 6 October 2015