Fig 1
DESCRIPTION: Wingspan up to 94 inches. Adult length up to 67 inches. The plumage is snowy white all year round with the long neck carried in a graceful 'S' curve. The bill is a striking orange with a black knob found above at the front of the forehead. This knob is larger in males. Juveniles are a delightful greyish-brown with a lead grey beak. Sometimes cygnets are all white and are known as 'Polish Swans'. BEHAVIOUR/CALL: An aggressive species when defending young or territory and adults will raise the wings over their backs when in the mood for some action. A hissing sound adds to the effect of the attack and this species definitely exudes an inner confidence. They feed on a variety of water plants, snails and insects. NEST/EGGS: Nests are large mounds built in and around waterside vegetation. Eggs are blue-green when laid and turn white then brownish with age. They are laid between April and May and both sexes incubate the clutch. The eggs hatch between 35 and 41 days. DISTRIBUTION: Throughout the British Isles except northern Scotland. HABITAT: Watery areas especially rivers, lakes, meres, shallow coastal ponds and estuaries. PERIOD: All year round.