Natural Oakville - The Mute Swan
It may seem like the Mute Swan has been in the Oakville area for as long as humans have inhabitated the region, however this is not the case.
The Mute Swan was deliberately introduced to North America in the late 1800s by newcomers who admired the birds for ornamental purposes.
Today the Mute Swan can be found throughout North America and is increasing it's population at roughly 10% per year in the Great Lakes area.
Mute Swans can be distinguished from the native Trumpeter Swans by the colour of their bill. Mute Swans have orange bills whereas Trumpeter Swans have black bills.
Young Mute Swans are called cygnets. During their first year their feathers range in colour from white to grey to beige and their bills are greyish-black.
Mute Swans are monogamous and mating pairs use the same nest every year. It is built in vegetation on islands or on the shores of water bodies.
Mute Swans are vegetarians, feeding on both submerged aquatic plants as well as grain found in fields.
They are a common sight in the Oakville and Toronto region along the Lake Ontario shoreline.