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Bird of the Week: Mute Swan

The Mute swan is often seen gliding gracefully on the waters throughout your Metroparks.  When swimming, these large white birds hold their wings above their back and curve their neck into a S-shape. Contrary to their name, these swans do grunt and hiss.

Mute swans were introduced to North America from Europe in the 1800’s.  Considered an invaisive species, Mute swans have orange bills, while the native swans, Trumpeter and Tundra, have black bills. Mute swans often displace other waterfowl from breeding and feeding areas through their aggressive behavior. When visiting Kensington Metropark Nature Area, you may notice a Mute swan with a green collar on its neck. This swan is part of scientific study to track the movement of Mute swans across the state. Don’t worry the collar may look snug, but that is due to the fluff of the bird’s neck.

Help track the movement of Mute swans by reporting any sightings of neck collared swans directly to the Federal Bird Banding Laboratory at: https://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/BBL/bblretrv/.

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