836. MUTE SWAN.
Cygnus olor (Gmel.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 502 (1788) ; Naum. xi. p. 442, Taf. 295 ; Gould, B. of Gt. Brit. v. pl. 8 ; Dresser, vi. p. 419, pl. 418 ; Salvadori, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxvii. p. 35 ; Tacz. F, O. Sib.
O. p. 1114 ; Blanf. F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iv. p. 413 ; Saunders, p. 417 ; Lilford, vii. p. 74, pl. 28 ; C. mansuetus, Salerne, Orn. &c. p. 404 (1767) ; Gould, B. of E. v. pl. 354 ; C. immutabilis, Yarr. P. Z. S. 1838, p. 19 ; Dresser, vi. p. 429, pl. 419, figs. 1, 2.
Cygne, French ; Gysne, Portug. ; Cisne, Span. ; Cigno reale, Ital. ; Hoker Schwan, German ; Zwaan, Dutch ; Knubsvane, Dan. ; Knotsvan, Swed. ; Lebed-chipounn, Russ.
Male ad. (Norfolk). Entire plumage pure white, the head and neck frequently tinged with ferruginous ; a large tubercle at the base of the bill, edges of the mandible and orifice of the nostrils black, the beak otherwise orange-red ; legs and feet black ; iris brown. Gape 3.65, wing 27.0, tail 10.0, taraus 4.5 inch. Female rather smaller, with a smaller tubercle. The young bird is sooty brownish grey and the bill plumbeous.
Hab. Southern Sweden, Denmark, South-eastern Europe, Southern and Central Asia east, to Mongolia ; in winter occasionally as far south as Northern India ; a regular winter visitant to North Africa ; in a semi-domesticated state it is found throughout Europe.
Though tame and familiar when in a semi-domesticated state the Swan, when wild, is extremely shy and wary. It frequents lakes and rivers, and the coasts chiefly in winter It swims with ease and grace, but is heavy and clumsy on land. Its food consists of soft portions of aquatic plants, aquatic insects and their larvae, to a small extent of fish, but it docs not appear to eat fish-spawn, of which it has been accused. In a wild state when calling its young it utters a cry not unlike the barking of a small dog. Its nest is a large structure, usually placed on an islet, and its eggs, 5 to 8 in number, are generally deposited in May, and are greenish grey in colour, rather rough in texture of shell and measure about 4.41 by 3.3. It would appear that C. immutabilis is merely a variety of the present species.
836. Chen olor
836. MUTE SWAN.