Mute Swan Family Back Home Hamilton
Saturday August 21st 2010
What a great opportunity to see that the Mute swan family have returned to there nesting area.
The signets are turning brown four months after birth.
Although this bird can be tame, especially to those who feed it daily, it is aggressive in defence of its nest,
and its size and impressive hissing make it a formidable adversary for animals as large as a fox. Large waterfowl,
such as Canada Geese may be driven off, and there have been many reports of Mute Swans attacking people who enter their territory.
The cob is also responsible for defending the cygnets while on the water, and will sometimes attack small watercraft, such as canoes,
that it feels are a threat to its young. The cob will also try and chase the predator out of his family territory,
and will keep animals such as foxes and birds at bay.
The familiar pose with neck curved back and wings half raised, known as busking,
is a threat display, mainly shown by males but also females to a small extent.
Black Swans and Whooper Swans are less aggressive and are not as defensive against predators.
Trumpeter Swans will sometimes leave their nests if threatened.
Mute Swans will attack land animals in defense of their families,
during the period before fledgling of their offspring (which, at six months, is longer than that of most other birds).
The Mute Swan is less vocal than the noisy Whooper and Bewick’s Swans;
the most familiar sound associated with Mute Swan is the vibrant throbbing of the wings in flight.
This sound is unique to the species, and can be heard from a range of 1 to 2 kilometres (0.6 to 1 mi),
indicating its value as a contact sound between birds in flight.
They do however make a variety of grunting, hoarse whistling, and snorting noises, especially in communicating with their cygnets,
and usually hiss at predators trying to enter their territory.