Thursday, April 9, 2015

Mute Swan, Cygnus olor

Most people visit Berry College will definitely visit their famous Bald Eagle nesting site located just to the left from the main entrance. I spent a half day there not only because I wanted to watch eagles and their two eaglets, but also I loved to visit their forest, the largest college campus in the world! Surprisingly, I spotted a single Mute Swan!

Mute Swan is native to central and northern Europe. I have seen Mute Swan in many continents mainly because human introduced these birds to zoos and parks. Mute Swans were introduced to North America in the late 1800. Escapees (lol, why don't they? They like to be free!) often establish their territory and become aggressive towards other wildlife. Mute Swans mainly feed on aquatic plant. In their native habitat, Mute Swan's long neck helps to bring up other vegetation deep in the water that other smaller waterfowl might have trouble to reach. There are about 500,000 native birds in the wild and there are about 22,000 in United States. In a birder's point of view, they dislike anything invasive. However, there are many things in the world are evidently unavoidable.

Mute Swan, Cygnus olor , Berry College, Georgia

These beautiful birds often travel in pair, people say they are the birds of Happiness. Is it because they mate for life? We will not know, won't we? During mating courtship, two swans will intertwined their long necks until their beaks reach each other's. In fact, Mute Swan will remate if one partner die and recently research showed "divorce" does happen. I think Mute Swan actually brings a "new light" and new possibilities to new places where they settle.  So you be the judge :)

-- Happy Birding! - Linda

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