Mute Swan

Cygnus olor


The Mute Swan is one of the most familiar birds in Britain, its long, curved neck and graceful glide a regular sight on our waterways and waterbodies. Mute Swans feed on plants, particularly waterweed. They usually mate for life, but some will have numerous partners.

How to identify

The only common swan in most places, the Mute Swan is easily recognised by its reddish-orange bill with its large black 'knob'.

Where to find it

A common bird on ponds and lakes throughout the country.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

The survival of our waterbirds is threatened by the loss and degradation of many of our wetland habitats. The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife happenings, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and be helping local wildlife along the way.

Species information

Common name
Mute Swan
Latin name
Cygnus olor
Length: 1.5m Wingspan: 2.2m Weight: 9-11.5kg Average Lifespan: 10 years
Conservation status