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Swans are large aquatic birds seen as majestic and graceful animals. Swans are famous for their monogamous pair bonds that last for many years. The image of a pair of swans with their necks entwined in the shape of a heart shows the animals’ loyalty to their partners and has become a universal symbol of love pictured by humans.
See the fact file below for more information on the swans, or you can download our 25-page Swan worksheet pack to utilize within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Swans are found in both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere.
- Swans inhabit temperate environments.
- They are found in Australia, New Zealand, and South America.
- Swans are not naturally present in Asia, Central America, and Africa.
- Some migratory swans travel to Iceland, Greenland, Scandinavia, Russia, Central Asia, China, and Japan.
- Swans have elongated, curved necks.
- Swans have streamlined bodies, and their feet are webbed.
- A swan has about 25,000 feathers in its body.
- There are 7 species of swans. All differ in size, color, and behavior.
- Swans are the largest animals in the duck-goose family.
- Swans found in the Northern hemisphere are generally white with an orange beak.
- Southern swans have a mixture of white and black with red, orange, or black beaks.
- Black swans are native to Australia and New Zealand.
- The South American “black-necked” swans have a white body and black neck.
- Swan’s legs have a gray/blackish color.
- South American species have pink legs.
- Swans have beaks with sawlike edges that appear like they have teeth.
- Swans can weigh up to 30 pounds and are 56 to 62 inches in length.
- They have very strong wings with a wingspan of 3 meters or 10 feet.
- Swans are generally omnivorous birds, but their diet is mainly plant-based.
- They eat seaweed and aquatic plants from underwater and stems, seeds, and berries from the land.
- Swans also eat insects, tadpoles, small fish, and worms.
Swan Mating and Life Cycle
- Swans breed and mate in freshwaters such as marshes, ponds, lakes, and slow-flowing rivers.
- Swans can mate at 2 years old and usually start during the winter season.
- Some swans don’t find their mate until they are 7 years old.
- Swans are famous for their lifelong pair bonds. But when one mate dies, the living swan will find another mate.
- Mating will start in a courtship behavior where a pair of swans nod their heads facing each other and simultaneously shake their wings.
- The entire process of mating lasts from a couple of seconds and can go on for almost an hour.
- Nesting usually occurs from April through to July.
- Swans build their nests in areas with abundant food supply, safe water, and few disturbances.
- Male swans or cobs help with nest construction.
- Pens (female swans) lay eggs 2 to 3 weeks after mating.
- Pens sit on the set of eggs for 6 weeks or until the eggs hatch.
- Baby swans are called cygnets, and they stay with mother swans for 6 months.
- Cygnets swim with their mother for protection and warmth.
- The mother swan tends to be aggressive with guarding cygnets against predators and other threats.
- Swans reach sexual maturity between 4 to 7 years of age.
- Swans can live for 10 to 20 years.
Ecology and Behavior
- Swans have few predators in the wild because of their large size.
- A swan’s main predator is humans who want their meat and feathers.
- Other threats are wolves, raccoons, and foxes that prey on their meat and eggs.
- Several species of swans are either migratory or partly migratory, while others stay in one place for their entire lives.
- A group of wild swans is called a herd. A group of swans in captivity is called a fleet.
- Swans make loud, deep, ‘trumpet-like’ honking sounds.
- Swans flap each other’s wings as a form of a ‘high-five’ after they scare off a threat.
- Swans can fly as fast as 60 miles per hour.
- Swans can sleep on both land and water. They stand on one leg when they sleep on land.
- Black swans swim with one leg.
More Interesting Facts
- Swans are threatened because of water pollution.
- Swans get ‘divorced’ when nesting fails.
- The divorce rate of swans is about 6%.
- Swans touch beaks to kiss, thus, their necks form a heart.
- Swans have a molting season that occurs during summer.
- During molting, they will not be able to fly for 6 weeks.
- By royal prerogative, the British Crown owns all unmarked swans on open water in the United Kingdom.
- Swans are a victim of animal entertainment.
- Swans are believed to be highly intelligent and remember who was kind to them and who was not.
- In 2001, a swan broke a man’s leg when it was provoked.
This is a fantastic bundle that includes everything you need to know about swans across 25 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Swan worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the swans which are large aquatic birds seen as majestic and graceful animals. Swans are famous for their monogamous pair bonds that last for many years. The image of a pair of swans with their necks entwined in the shape of a heart shows the animals’ loyalty to their partners and has become a universal symbol of love pictured by humans.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Swan Facts
- Swan Attributes
- Locating Swans
- Spot The Swans
- Life Cycle
- Major Predators
- Modified True Or False
- Differentiating Swans
- Swan Crossword Puzzle
- Knowledge Recap
- The Swan Song
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Link will appear as Swan Facts & Worksheets: http://www.grabillautomotive.com - KidsKonnect, March 8, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.