Saturday, 29 November 2008

WWT More Interesting Swan Facts

More Interesting Swan Facts

(From the information pack I received as sponsor of Doon.)

Swans belong to the same family as geese and ducks.

There are 8 different swan species.

Mute,Trumpeter, Bewick's, Whistling, Black, Black-necked, and Coscorba.

Mute, Whoopers and Bewick's occur naturally in the wild in Europe.

The Mute is UK's heaviest resident bird, the male weighing in at 12 kg.

It takes about 40 days for a Black Swan's egg to hatch which is longer than any other wildfowl species.

Swan parents help their young to feed by bringing up submerged vegetation, or pulling off overhanging leaves.

Unlike most ducks, the sexes in swans are similar in appearance, although the male is usually larger.

The male is called a COB, the female a PEN, and the young are CYGNETS.

Swans have more vertebrae in their long necks (25 in total) than any other animal. This allows them to reach submerged vegetation to a depth of 1 metre. Compare with the giraffe which has only 7 vertebrae!

Swans need a runway to take off, look for them running along a waterway in order to get airborne.

Swans find it difficult to change course quickly in flight. Collisions with overhead wires and buildings are the most comon cause of swan death in UK.

Swans occasionally mistake motorways and roads for open water and are either killed or injured when attempting a landing.

Mute Swans, despite their name, are not silent. They have a range of gentle grunts, and make a whistling noise whilst in flight.

At the beginning of next week, and Scottish weather permitting, I hope to go to see Doon, Balfron and family at Caerlaverock. I shall report on this after my visit.

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