Royal bird. Usually the state or the monarch owns land, armament, and enterprises. The Queen of Britain went further. The head of England also owns birds, and in particular swans. Therefore, in Britain they do not touch their finger, being afraid to encroach on the monarch’s property. What did the swans deserve such respect?
Description and features of the swan
The affiliation of the English swans to the queen is not as romantic as it seems. The rights to birds are declared on the basis of the taste of birds. In past centuries they were considered exquisite dishes, served to the royal table.
Therefore, the monarchs of England took the superintendent of the swans into their entourage. Previously, he was an aristocrat. In the 21st century, the post was given to a professor at Oxford University. He is responsible for counting birds and supporting their numbers.
In the real description of birds, too, there is less romance than in phraseological units, legends. There is, for example, the expression «swan song«. So called the genius creations, creating which the authors retire or die. The real swan song is more like a cry, and in young individuals — barking.
Objective metaphor is the «swan neck«. It is really long in birds, equal to the length of the body. This neck distinguishes many anseriformes, to which the swans belong. In color they are white, black and gray.
All birds are large and powerful, due to which they raise their weight well. However, most of the time any swan spends on the water. Here the long neck of the animal allows him to fish for subsistence from the bottom.
Go swans with difficulty, because short-cuts. The extremities of birds, by the way, are reddish. The beak is colored yellow, large. The swan is the king of the bird. This title is given to an animal due to its grace and beauty.
For 15-18 kilogram birds look exceptionally elegant. Feathers also move. The exception is walking. On the ground, animals move from side to side, like ordinary geese. This brings together all the swans.
Types of swans
The swan in the photo is of medium size and large, dark and light, with a red or yellow nadklyuvem. Differences are due to species diversity. There are 7 subtypes of swans:
1. The tundra. Otherwise it is called small, because the smallest among the relatives. The bird weighs up to 6 kilograms. The wingspan of the animal is equal to 110 centimeters. Feathery is completely white. The nadklyuvya birds are yellow, do not reach the trailing edge of the nostrils.
2. The Klikun. Its yellow hocks are elongated, reaching to the nostrils. Weighs a klikun from 7 to 14 kilograms. The wingspan of the bird is about 270 centimeters. If other species of swans are tolerant of coolness, then the klikuns are thermophilic, inhabiting only southern territories. The color of the animal is white.
3. Swan of the mouth. Also snow-white, but on the head and neck there is an ohrist plaque. Weighs about 14 kilograms. The wingspan of the feathered one reaches 240 centimeters. The bird has a red beak, and its elytra is black.
4. Trumpeter. It’s a white swan. Like the ointment, it has a buffy coating on the neck and head. However, the bird’s beak is completely black and weighs a couple of kilograms less.
5. American swan. He is more rounded than the other representatives of the genus head and shortened neck. The American swan weighs a maximum of 10 kilograms. The bird’s hindleg is bright yellow, reaching up to the nostril, like that of a klikkun.
6. Black-necked swan. Slightly larger than the tundra. Usually the animal weighs 6.5-7 kilograms. The body of the feather is white, and the neck, as the name implies, is black. Nadklyuvya representatives of the species are red.
7. The Black Swan. The bird is completely black, and its beak is completely red. The weight of the animal is small, as in the black-and-black species. The wingspan of the bird is 2 meters.
Sexual dimorphism in swans is not developed. Neither in color nor in size do females differ from males. The latter, by the way, can exhibit same-sex swan fidelity. Males of a black kind, for example, sometimes come together in pairs, driving out the female laying eggs from the nest. Male individuals themselves hatch and rear offspring.
Habitat and lifestyle
All the swans stay near the water, because they get food in it. However, the diet and temperature preferences of different types of birds vary:
• Tundra swans feed on small fish, amphibians and plants, nesting on the swamps of the Kola Peninsula and Chukotka
• The klikun chooses the banks of warm and large lakes, seas, overgrown with reeds, catching in them algae and small invertebrates
• it gulps shrimps, mollusks and underwater plants, looking for them on the lakes of Europe and Asia
• The trumpeter prefers the shallow lakes of the center and the north of America, feeding on underwater vegetation and mollusks
• the American swan is typical of the New World forest-tundra, where it lives on the overgrown banks of rivers, marshes, lakes and feeds not only aquatic plants and animals, but also grain cereals in the fields
• Black-necked swans live in South America, particularly in Chile and Patagonia, hibernating in Brazil and eating not only plants and aquatic animals but also insects
• The black swan lives in Australia and on the nearby islands, choosing fresh and shallow water, is a vegetarian.
A migratory swan is a bird or not? The question is relevant, since some individuals and even populations are not removed from their places of winter in winter. This occurs in warm locations.
Listen to the voice of a swan
So, black-necked swans are not every year removed from the south of the continent. Long-haul flights are more often performed by northern populations. In Russia, for example, all the four bird species that live in the country are removed from the occupied places:
1. The tundra.
3. The Klikun.
The flight of swans is accomplished by lining up in a wedge. In his chapter the strongest person moves. The powerful streams of air emanating from under her wings are transmitted to the flying ones from behind. So the weakest swans at the end of the wedge receive support, without incident, reach the wintering grounds.
Having arrived on a place and having settled down on a reservoir, feathery amaze spectators with a grace. It is expressed not only in the appearance of birds, but also in the manner of movements. They are unhurried, smooth. In the movements of swans, there is peace and confidence in one’s own strength.
If overtook danger in the form of a golden eagle or river osprey, swans dive under water or, dispersing on it, rise on the wing. The most difficult to escape from the anseriformes is on the ground. A long overclocking is required. In the water to push out the body help the paddle-like paddles. On the ground, however, it is more difficult to raise a 15-kilogram body with feathers.
Swans are territorial birds, do not like outsiders on the occupied lands. Their anseriformes are divided between pairs. Not for nothing there is the epithet «swan fidelity». Feathers are not only faithful to partners, but are not separated from them, permanently living in the family.
Expelling the strangers, the swans arched their necks and hissed like snakes. In addition, the birds spread their powerful wings. The force of their impact, stati, is enough to break the bones of an adult.
The belief that the swan wintering bird is associated with the attachment of animals to their places of violence. If they get colder, the birds spend their mating and procreation until better times. If there is no food, the caterpillars starve to exhaustion, but do not fly away.
This is one of the reasons for the inclusion of all kinds of swans in the Red Book. To destroy the species, it is enough to destroy the places chosen by them. They can not get used to new birds.
Feeding the swan
The neck of the swan allows him to lower his head a meter deep. In shallow water bodies, it allows you to grasp the beak of the silt together with the hidden in it:
• plant roots
Not reaching to the bottom, feathery grabs the stalks of grass and algae, small fish. Some species of swans also feed on terrestrial vegetation. Therefore, around the nest of birds, the grass is often plucked. In the fields the birds liked the cereals, especially their grains. Representatives of the American species do not even mind eating corn and potatoes.
Without leaving the water, the animals pluck the leaves from the shallow willows, which bend the branches to the streams. In winter, the leaves fly over, and the ponds are covered with ice. Swans are birds that solve the problem, flying to warmer lands or changing the diet.
To get acquainted with the gifts of fields in the cold, for example, almost all kinds of anseriformes do not mind. For a day the hero of the article eats about a quarter of its own weight. In captivity, birds are forbidden to give:
1. Black bread. The digestive system of birds does not absorb it, which is fraught with diseases.
2. Damaged products. Their use leads to food poisoning.
3. White bread. It is considered a classic for feeding birds on park ponds. However, the product is also harmful for swans.
The ideal lure in captivity are:
• steamed rice, millet
• mixed feed without salt
• Shredded vegetables
Animal food for swans is replaced by production waste, eggs. Instead of water, the feathered love to lap milk. As a nutritional supplement for the cold season, swans perceive yeast. By mass, they should be half the percentage of the diet.
Reproduction and life expectancy
Nests of an anseriform build 2-3 meters in diameter. Like storks, swans use «bowls» for many years, annually podlatyvaya. Build from last year’s foliage, branches, dry grasses. The breeding of the nest is mainly done by the female. After, she lays 3 to 5 eggs and incubates them, changing with the male, for 40 days.
Male specimens of swans hatch eggs worse, they can sit by, or forget to turn over the masonry. If the shortcomings allow the chicks to survive, the offspring grows up only by the 4th year. In the scale of life of swans, the figure is not large.
The age of birds is at least 20 years old. Most swans live 30-40. The legends tell about 150-year-old animals. Scientifically, such longevity is not confirmed. However, in talking about which swan is a bird, there are more fictions. They are «fueled» by tales and tales. There are swans and parcels from Baba Yaga, and enchanted princes, and reincarnated princesses.