Due to higher costs and concerns over safety, Lakeland, Florida is selling 30 of their iconic mute swans. These swans came from England as a gift by the queen after native swans in Lakeland died off. But what are mute swans? Let's find out!
Physical Description and Behavior
Mute swans can be up to 60 inches long, with a wingspan of up to 94 inches. They are usually pure white with the exception of their iconic orange bill which is surrounded by a thin plume of black. They are also one of the heaviest flying birds, being upwards of 27 pounds and still being able to fly. Most birds tend to be very light as it uses less energy to become and stay airborne.
Fun Fact: While it may be called the "mute" swan, it is not actually mute. It just makes far less noise than the average swan. They still do hiss to drive away predators, as well as make quieter honking noises.
Most swans swim together in lakes, but the mute swan is highly territorial. As a result, it is not uncommon to see only one pair of swans for a small lake. They are also highly protective of their mate and offspring as well. They will hiss to scare off predators and dangers, and if this does not work, the mute swan will attack with boney spurs in their wings.
Habitat and Location
They are considered to be of Least Concern according to the IUCN Red List. Despite this designation, it is still considered to be a protected species due to them being liked by the Queen of England.
They can mainly be found in the Northeastern United States as well as in many parts of Europe. This includes the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Norway, Sweden, and more.