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Mute Swans (cygnus olor) are a very large and beautiful bird. The male is known as a cob and the female a pen. The young are called cygnets. The cob and pen are similar in appearance. Their adult plumage is entirely white. A triangular black area in front of the eyes extends to a black fleshy knob over the nostrils. Generally males have a larger knob than females which is most evident during the breeding season. The area around the nostrils and tip of beak are also black. The bill is bright red-orange fading to pink in non breeding birds. Legs and feet of the Royal Mute Swan are black to blackish gray. Eyes are hazel. Adult weight is from 25 to 30 lbs. with some laying females being heavier. Mute swans often breed their third year with a clutch of 4 t0 8 eggs which have an incubation period of 35 to 37 days. Newly hatched cygnets have overall pale gray upperparts and white underparts. The bill is black and the feet and legs are pale gray.
May 29th, 2011
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