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Mute Swans

Mute Swans
Photo Information
Copyright: Hilary Wilkinson (Hil) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-03-19
Categories: Birds
Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50
Exposure: f/8, 1/400 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Alex99 favorite shots [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-05-04 11:18
Viewed: 3738
Points: 54
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I thought it was a while since I posted some Swans. The Swans at my local park are busy sitting on nests at the moment, I have counted 5 nests so hopefully we will see some cute Cygnets in a few weeks time. I really want to get some shots of the babies hitching a lift on the pens back this year so fingers crossed. thanks for veiwing.

Mute Swan Info...


Adults of this large swan range from 125-170 cm (49-67 in) long with a 200-240 cm (79-95 in) wingspan. They may stand over 1.2 m (four feet) tall on land. Males are larger than females and have a larger knob on their bill.

The Mute Swan is one of the heaviest flying birds, with males (known as "cobs") averaging at about 12kg (27 lbs), and females (known as "pens") more than 9 kg (20 lbs.). An exceptionally enormous Polish cob weighed almost 23 kg (50 lbs.), surpassing the longer-bodied Trumpeter Swan to make it the heaviest waterfowl ever recorded. Its size, orange-reddish bill and white plumage make this swan almost unmistakable, in close quarters. Surveys done by air plane, however, often mistake the species, creating questionable counts. The most similar species is Whooper Swan, but that has a yellow and black bill, and lacks the curved "swan" neck, is longer and heavier and lacks the characteristic projection above the bill.

Young birds, called "cygnets", are not the bright white of mature adults, and lack the bill is black, not orange, for the first year. The color of the down may range from pure white to grey to a buff color. The grey/buff coloration is more widespread in cygnets around the world.[Burton,K}(2007) The white colored cygnets have a leucistic gene, seen most often in the north central states in America and in Poland. All mute swans are white at maturity.


Mute Swans nest on large mounds that they build in shallow water in the middle or at the edge of a lake. These monogamous birds reuse the same nest each year, restoring or rebuilding it as needed. Male and female swans share the care of the nest, and once the cygnets are fledged it is not uncommon to see whole families looking for food. They feed on submerged aquatic vegetation, reached with their long necks. This bird can often be found in colonies of over 100 individuals such as at the southern tip of Öland Island, Ottenby Preserve, in the coastal waters of the Baltic Sea (Hogan, 2006). These large groups are generally non-mated juveniles.(Scott,P) Once the adults are mated they seek out their own territories and often live close to ducks and gulls, who take advantage of the swans ability to reach weeds, which tend to spread out on the water surface.

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. There have been many reports of Mute Swans attacking people who enter their territory.

The Mute Swan is less vocal than the noisy Whooper and Bewick's Swans; the most familiar sound associated with Mute Swan is the whooshing of the wings in flight once this bird has laboriously taken off from the water. The phrase swan song refers to this swan and to the legend that it is utterly silent until the last moment of its life, and then sings one achingly beautiful song just before dying; in reality, the Mute Swan is not completely silent Listen Here

Unlike Black Swans, Mute Swans are strongly territorial. The familiar pose with neck curved back and wings half raised, known as busking, is a threat display. The Mute Swan is protected in most of its range, but this has not prevented illegal hunting and poaching in some countries.

Notes From Wilkipedia.com

Cropped & Resized

nglen, Amadeo, jaycee, uleko, Alex99, eng55, robgra, dB_grafix, goldyrs, Maite, marhowie, gracious, darwin, SelenE, CeltickRanger, inked has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-05-04 11:24]

Hi Hilary. The swans i have been folowing for three years keep building there nest in the middle of the river on a small island , It has now been washed away 3 times this year. This is a fine looking pair . You have captured them with good detail and colours . the way you have used the light is first class. well done TFS.

  • Great 
  • Nilson Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 488 W: 0 N: 566] (4423)
  • [2008-05-04 11:52]

Belo cenário com estes ganso branquinhos foto exelente e composição ótima parabéns.

  • Great 
  • Amadeo Gold Star Critiquer [C: 168 W: 0 N: 755] (3323)
  • [2008-05-04 13:07]

Hola Hil, una elegante fotografia, con buena luz y color. Un saludo

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-05-04 13:13]

Hi Hilary,

Beautiful Mute Swans. They look like they are part of a water ballet. I love the poses. Beautiful colors and nice shades of whites. Excellent details of their faces and plummage. The water looks so inviting and the reflections are lovely.


Hi Hilary
Lovely detail on the white feathers and I like the graceful pose of these two swans. Look forward to seeing some cygnets!

Hello Hilary,

You have managed the light on these swans really well! They look so elegant with their arched necks and folded wings! Great details and lovely composition!

kind regards,
Bev :-)

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-05-04 14:12]

Hello Hil,
very peaceful photo of these graceful Swans!
The poses are great!
Excellent exposure of the whites and perfect light.
Great sharpness and detail.
Superb composition.
Theres nout wrong with this at all! :-)
Well done!


Hi Hilary,

Away, just marking


  • Great 
  • Art_R Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 244 W: 20 N: 839] (3892)
  • [2008-05-04 19:54]

Hi Hillary , wonderful photo here , the white contrast beautifully against the rich blue water , very well exposed , nice detail , and the two are in a very nice pose too.



  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-05-04 22:34]

Hello Hilary,
Lovely capture of these two elegant Swans with raised wings on the blue water. Excellent management of the whites and beautiful colours. A fine composition!
Many thanks, Ulla

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-05-05 5:41]

Hi Hilary,
Splendid shot of this elegant Swan duo in interestingly synchronised poses. Very neat and sharp image with superb lighting and exposure levels. The rippled waters give a fine effect. Excellent POV and composition. Kudos.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-05-05 9:00]

Hi, dear Hil.
Once more amazing duet. Poses of the beautiful pair are the best and so elegant. Quality of the picture is outstanding. Fantastic exposure, great DOF and details of all even tiny features of the scene. Small waves on the surface are so charming as main characters. Bravo.

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2008-05-05 9:45]

Hi Hil,
Beautiful scane.Well caught and composed.Details on white feathers are wonderful.Both swan is sharp und in focus.I liked pose of birds and glisten eyes also a lot.
Thanks for posting.

  • Great 
  • cako Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 485 W: 0 N: 772] (3395)
  • [2008-05-05 10:31]

Hi Hillary
very good sharp and detail
very nice image

Hi Hilary.
Swans sit to picture beautifully, as they would know that you do them portrait, I feel sure shyness. Super composition and sharpness. Beautiful picture, impression does.
I greet Robert.

Evening Hilary.
What I like about this is the fact you have both in a position that looks choreographed. Goos lighting and whites.Thanks for sharing these.

Were they posing for your benefit, Hilary? It certainly looks that way:)
I love the perfection you've sought and found in this shot, the perfect water coloured a natural blue instead of the over PP'd bright blues and the lovely FG with the subject so naturally at display.

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2008-05-06 7:16]

Hello Hilary
How magestic look these lovely Mute Swans! You captured them in a splendid pose making a beautiful composition. The focus is perfect showing nice details. Magnificent lighting and exposure on those white feathers too.
Congratulations and TFS
Best regards

Hello Hilary,
You really have captured the beauty and grace of these swans. Composition, colours, detail, POV and sharpness are all spot on. Can't see how you could have done better. Just beautiful, well done.

Very nice work Hil, Your swans have come a long way :)
You've caught a great POV and I like the staggered comp/position of the two..Excellent exposure of the whites with nice details there, hard to do.
Well done!

Hello Hilary,
Very beautiful pose of the two Swans!
very good lighting in the image with good sharpness, colour and details
well done

  • Great 
  • darwin Gold Star Critiquer [C: 259 W: 0 N: 403] (1401)
  • [2008-05-06 18:32]

Hi Hiliary
Wonderful capture with lovely color and light
Very nice poses with fine detail in the plumage
tfs jon

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-05-07 7:07]

Hi Hilary,
Pose you captured looks very good. Good exposure control over the white plumage. Fine POV and composition. TFS
Best wishes,

hello Hilary

what great shot and perfect synchronisme on their pose,
very fine POV and DOF, you shooted the image just
at the great moment of their synchronised pose,
excellent sharpness and details, TFS


  • Great 
  • inked Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 132 W: 0 N: 249] (771)
  • [2008-05-07 22:59]

hi Hilary,
fantastic shot of these pair of swans. really nice focus and lighting. great depth, superb detail. such elegant birds and it shows in your photo. well done and tfs

bonjour hilary
une bonne profondeur de champ qui fait que les deux oiseau se trouve net et surtout un bonne exposition,chose parfois difficile sur le blanc.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-05-16 22:32]

Hello Hil

A lovely and graceful capture.
There are now two pairs of mute swans on the mill pond locally here.
I like the synchro of the shot.
The details are sharp with lovely plumage detail.
Excellent POV.


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