About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

An Ugly Duckling?

The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen portrayed a cygnet to be ugly compared to little ducklings. That's hard to believe with this little guy.
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The Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) is native to much of Europe and Asia and was introduced to eastern North America in the mid-1800s to adorn estates and city parks.
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They can be aggressive toward native species and there is a concern about the negative impact on Michigan's Common Loons and Trumpeter Swans.
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The swans are generally silent or "mute". However they may hiss or make hoarse barking notes and their loud wingbeats can be heard from up to a half mile away.
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The phrase swan song refers to the Mute Swan. Legends say that the bird is utterly silent until the last moment of its life, and then sings one achingly beautiful song just before dying.

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