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what color is a baby swan?

What color is a baby swan?

What color is a baby swan?

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What color is a baby swan?
What color is a baby swan?



Baby swans are called cygnets—pronounced as sig-nets. These young birds appear short-necked and heavily covered in down feathers forming a thick fuzz around their bodies. They can run and swim, but they’re still relatively weaker and need a parent swan to look after them till they grow into healthy swans.

What does a baby swan look like?

Baby swans, or cygnets, hatch covered in a thick down. They’re able to run and swim after just hours, but their parents remain very protective over them in the early months of their life.

Baby swans are typically dusky grey all over with a soft, fluffy coat and grey-black bill. They have small black feet. All cygnets have this appearance, and the babies of different species can be very hard to tell apart. Even the Australian Black swan has dusky grey cygnets that look similar to any other species.

Occasionally, cygnets hatch with all-white down and are known as ‘Polish swans’. This seems to apply to Mute swans only.

How big is a baby swan?

Baby swans weigh around 250g (8.8 oz) and are approximately 20cm (8in) long. They’re the largest of the baby waterfowl, though they are similarly sized to geese chicks. After six months, they already reach around 6kg, reaching their maximum weight of about 14kg after around 3 to 4 years. Swans are very large and heavy birds – the Trumpeter swan is one of the heaviest flying birds in the world!

A side-by-side comparison of a cygnet next to a duckling shows how large they really are. Swan eggs are also very heavy at around 350 grams.

How much do baby swans weigh?

Baby swans weigh around 250g (8.8 oz) when newly hatched, which is quite hefty. For comparison, a Mallard duckling may weigh just 50 grams.


What color is a baby swan?
What color is a baby swan?


What Colour are baby swans?

For the first few months of their lives, young swans may be either white or gray/brown. But no matter which color they are at the beginning, eventually all the babies grow to look just like their parents, which means they all will be totally white, very handsome and really bad at dancing.

Black swans are mostly black-feathered birds, with white flight feathers. The bill is bright red, with a pale bar and tip; and legs and feet are greyish-black. Cobs (males) are slightly larger than pens (females), with a longer and straighter bill. Cygnets (immature birds) are a greyish-brown with pale-edged feathers.

Also, what color are swans when they are born? Baby swans are called cygnets and many are born a brownish gray color. Both parents take care of them for about five months.

what Colour are swans?

The northern swan is generally white in colour with an orange beak and the southern swan tends to be a mixture of white and black in colour with red, orange or black beaks.

What Colour are cygnets?

Cygnets are grey when they hatch with black beaks and gradually turn brown over the first six months at which time they learn to fly. By one year old they are predominantly white but the beak remains grey/pink. Full white plumage and orange beak come with maturity. Immature and non-breeding swans moult first.

what color is a baby swan?

Yellow/orange legs indicate the rare leucistic color phase. Leucistic Trumpeter Swans are born white, do not go through the gray juvenile plumage phase, and often have very bright yellow legs as adults. They are not albino- notice the black bill and eyes.

Leucistic swans seem more likely to occur in the Rocky Mountain Population.  There are also some leucistic swans in Ontario which obtained eggs from Alberta (Rocky Mountain Population) early in its restoration efforts.


Cygnets stay with their parents for a long time, even when they’re fully capable of exploring the area and navigating boundaries independently. It takes roughly about six months for them to reach maturity. That’s when they’re full-grown adults ready to leave their mothers’ side and join a flock.


What color is a baby swan?
What color is a baby swan?


Can white swans have black babies?

The black swan is a nearer relative to the mute swan than any other swan species. Black swans have therefore been recorded as producing hybridised young with mute swans, producing large mottled grey and white offspring. Not to be confused with juvenile mute swans!

Why are some swan babies GREY?

Swans were nearing extinction in the 1930s in the U.S. but due to measures taken to protect them their population is again growing. A baby swan or cygnet has a grey feathered coat until it reaches about 20 pounds. Then it too will become snowy white like its parents.


Swans are birds of the family Anatidae within the genus Cygnus. The swans’ closest relatives include the geese and ducks. Swans are grouped with the closely related geese in the subfamily Anserinae where they form the tribe Cygnini. Sometimes, they are considered a distinct subfamily, Cygninae. There are six living and many extinct species of swan; in addition, there is a species known as the coscoroba swan which is no longer considered one of the true swans. Swans usually mate for life, although “divorce” sometimes occurs, particularly following nesting failure, and if a mate dies, the remaining swan will take up with another. The number of eggs in each clutch ranges from three to eight.


Swans are the largest extant members of the waterfowl family Anatidae, and are among the largest flying birds. The largest living species, including the mute swan, trumpeter swan, and whooper swan, can reach a length of over 1.5 m (59 in) and weigh over 15 kg (33 lb). Their wingspans can be over 3.1 m (10 ft). Compared to the closely related geese, they are much larger and have proportionally larger feet and necks.

Adults also have a patch of unfeathered skin between the eyes and bill. The sexes are alike in plumage, but males are generally bigger and heavier than females. The biggest species of swan ever was the extinct Cygnus falconeri, a flightless giant swan known from fossils found on the Mediterranean islands of Malta and Sicily. Its disappearance is thought to have resulted from extreme climate fluctuations or the arrival of superior predators and competitors.

The Northern Hemisphere species of swan have pure white plumage, but the Southern Hemisphere species are mixed black and white. The Australian black swan (Cygnus atratus) is completely black except for the white flight feathers on its wings; the chicks of black swans are light grey. The South American black-necked swan has a white body with a black neck.

Swans’ legs are normally a dark blackish grey colour, except for the South American black-necked swan, which has pink legs. Bill colour varies: the four subarctic species have black bills with varying amounts of yellow, and all the others are patterned red and black. Although birds do not have teeth, swans, like other Anatidae, have beaks with serrated edges that look like small jagged ‘teeth’ as part of their beaks used for catching and eating aquatic plants and algae, but also molluscs, small fish, frogs, and worms. In the mute swan and black-necked swan, both sexes have a fleshy lump at the base of their bills on the upper mandible, known as knob, which is larger in males, and is condition dependent, changing seasonally.


What color is a baby swan?
What color is a baby swan?



It can be difficult to tell the difference between a juvenile swan, known as a cygnet (pronounced “sig-net”), of Trumpeter and Tundra Swans. Both Trumpeter and Tundra juveniles are gray in their first fall and winter. However, Tundra Swan cygnets generally turn white by March of their first winter, while Trumpeter cygnets do not turn white until the summer of their second year.

Feathers and legs

Trumpeter juveniles are darker sooty gray, especially in the head and neck area. Their leg and foot color varies from pink to yellowish to dusky brown through their first year. Trumpeter juveniles usually remain darker gray longer than Tundra Swans.  Trumpeter juveniles have gray feathers on the head and neck persisting well into spring. Wintering Trumpeter juveniles may vary in age by up to 6 weeks due to geographic differences in hatching dates. As a result, they show considerable individual and geographic variation in the timing of their molt into white plumage during their second summer.

Tundra juveniles are brighter silvery gray with black legs and feet.  Their feathers begin turning white in late December. By mid-March they are nearly all white.


Trumpeter bills are black at base and tip with a pink middle early on, turning black over their first year.

Tundra bill color is usually mottled pink with black tip, with less black at the base than Trumpeters.

Juvenile bill color in winter gradually shifts to all black in both Trumpeter and Tundra Swan species.

Mute swan cygnets have black bills, shifting to orange and black at maturity.

Someone described the difference between Trumpeter and Mute Swan cygnet bill coloration as “Nature’s little joke.”  Trumpeter Swan cygnets have mostly pink bills, turning to black.  Mute swan cygnets have black bills, turning to orange and black.


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