Swans are large water birds of the family Anatidae, which also includes geese and ducks. Swans are grouped with the closely related geese in the subfamily Anserinae. Swans usually mate for life, though "divorce" does sometimes occur, particularly following nesting failure. The number of eggs in each clutch varies both within and among swan species, typically between 3-8 eggs. Young swans are known as cygnets, from the Latin word for swan, cygnus. The male and female adults are known as cob and pen, though these terms are little used nowadays.














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The Northern Hemisphere species of swan all have pure white plumage, but the Southern Hemisphere species are all patterned with various amounts of black. The Australian Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) is black all over except for the white flight feathers on its wings, and the South American Black-necked Swan has, as its name suggests, a black neck; finally, the Coscoroba Swan, also from southern South America, has black tips to the primary feathers. The legs of all swans are dark blackish grey, except for the two South American species, which have pink legs. Bill colour varies rather more; the three far northern species have black bills with varying amounts of yellow, and all the others varyingly patterned red and black. The Mute Swan and Black-necked Swan have a curious lump at the base of the bill on the upper mandible.

001-008.jpg courtesy: Us Fish & Wildlife Service
009-017.jpg courtesy: National Undersea Research Program
018-019.jpg courtesy: pdphoto.org
020-021.jpg courtesy: U.S. Bureau of Land Management
022-024.jpg courtesy: USDA











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