Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mute Swans

Our resident Mute Swans are going to have a new friend soon. I have located a female mute swan that is a couple of years old. She is from Wisconsin and her owner lives in Illinois. I will be getting her next week so she can become the companion to our lone male. So we should have 2 pairs of Mute Swans to start our spring season. Hopefully one of the pair will nest and produce some cygnets. We keep our swans at the maintenance center all winter in special pens built for them. They are fed lettuce and a special grain to keep them healthy and in good condition for the winter season. As soon as we have some open water we will move them out to their summer homes.

Mute Swans nest on large mounds that they build with waterside vegetation in shallow water on islands in the middle or at the very edge of a lake. They are monogamous and often reuse the same nest each year, restoring or rebuilding it as needed. Male and female swans share the care of the nest, and once the cygnets are fledged it is not uncommon to see whole families looking for food.They feed on a wide range of vegetation, both submerged aquatic plants which they reach with their long necks, and by grazing on land.

Here is a photo of one of our pairs.