The mute swan (Cygnus olor) – is a species of swan and a member of the waterfowl family. Its natural distribution is Europe and Asia and is a rare winter visitor of northern Africa. It is also an introduced species in North America, Australia and South Africa. This type of swan is also found in Macedonia.
The adults of this large swan are 140-160 cm long, and in some extreme cases even 125-170 cm long, with wingspan of 200-240 cm. Males are larger than females and have a larger knob on the beak. The mute swan has a 53-62.3 cm long wing tendon, its tarsus is 10-11.8 cm long and its beak is 6.9-9 cm. The mute swan is one of the heaviest flying birds. The male weighs 11-12 kg and the female weighs 8.5-9 kg.
Cygnets up to one year old are not as white as adults, and their beaks are grey-black rather than orange. The lower part may be white or greyish yellow. The white cygnets have genes of reduced pigmentation. When they mature, all mute swans are white, but sometimes due to the presence of iron and tannins in the water, feathers on their head and neck can turn orange-brown.
The mute swans are monogamous and make large knobby nests from coastal vegetation, either on an island or on the lake shore. They feed on aquatic plants that they easily reach with their long necks or find food on the coast. The sound of the mute swan is a vibrating yaw coming from the wings as it flies. This sound is specific and can be heard from 1 to 2 kilometres.