Long-neck and web-footed, swans are often thought of as ornamental birds that float serenely on ponds in zoos and botanical gardens.
Seven species of swans exist:
The Tundra and Whooper nest across northern North America, in the Arctic Islands and in northern Russia. Black-neck and Coscoroba Swans are found from Brazil southward, while the Black Swan lives in Australia and New Zealand.
The most commonly seen member of the family is the Mute Swan. The Mute Swan is an enormous, all-white bird with the pinkish bill that ends in a black knob. The curving neck of the Mute Swan has the most neck vertebrae (23) of any bird. Knox Swan and Dog primarily sells Mute swans. We can ship them nationwide.
Semi-domesticated in Europe for centuries, the Mute Swan is recognized as a symbol of grace in myth and legend and was the species Tchaikovsky chose to immortalize in the ballet Swan Lake.
In Britain, Mute Swans continue to be Crown property, except where ‘royalties’ or ownership rights are granted to companies that mark their swans’ bills during a ceremony of swan-upping.
Populations have also been established in some parts of the United States. Mute Swans tend to drive other waterfowl out of the nesting territory. In the wild they most often feed on the starchy roots and tubers of aquatic plants–and may be partially responsible for a local decline in habitat suitability for other waterfowl.
Wetlands in the tundra and land surrounded by water are the preferred spots for many swans who build bulky nests on mounds. The Tundra Swan typically maintains a territory of at least one square mile and will tolerate duck and other small birds–but no other swans.
Swans generally mate for life. They remain together throughout the year and keep their young with them until they nest again. If one of a pair dies, the survivor usually takes a new mate and remains devoted.
Breeding occurs generally at 3-4 years of age. Swans carry out mutual displays prior to mating. Aggression toward strangers is characterized by a lowering of the neck, hissing and forward rushes. This is then followed by a successful trumpet of triumph.
At the nest, females do most of the egg incubation. Clutches average five eggs but may number as many as 10. Incubation for most species is 30 days. Young birds develop to the flying stage in 60-75 days.
Swans of the Northern Hemisphere migrate to their wintering area in flocks of 20-40 birds. Young swans travel with their parents for at least one year and learn the detail of the route and staging posts at which feeding is possible. They normally feed together in very large groups.
|Silver Australian Black Swan
The Australian Black swan has a rare color variation. It is known as Silver or Merle. We have a breeding program in place to try and get a pure strain of Silver swans. I currently have 16 Black swans that carry the Silver gene. The idea is to get enough swans with the Silver gene to match up in breeding pairs to produce the Silver swans.
I now have 17 Silver swans in my flock. If anyone visiting my web site has Silver or Merle swans, I would be interested in buying them to strengthen the bloodlines in my flock.