Tag Archives: female mute swan is pen

Welcome Swans!

The swans are returning to Cape Ann ponds and marshes!

During periods of extremely cold weather Mute Swans depart our region to search for vegetation to forage for at unfrozen bodies of water. The deep freeze of this past winter was especially difficult for our feathered friends.

Swan Male Cob

Note the fleshy black knob at the base of the bill. For most of the year, the male and female’s knobs are about the same size. During mating season, which we are coming in to, it is much easier to do a side-by-side identification to determine if cob or pen because the male’s knob swells and becomes more prominent.

Synchronized Divers ©kim Smith 2015Synchronized Diving

Swan foot ©kim Smith 2015Swans use their large feet as both rudder and paddle when diving for vegetation.

Swan Male Cob Cape Ann ©Kim Smith 2015Mute Swans have 23 separate vertebrate in their necks, which is more than any other bird, including other swan species.

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