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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)

Last week I posted a photo of a Trumpeter Swan, a species native to North America. Esquimalt Lagoon is also home to a flock of Mute Swans (Cygnus olor). While they are not native to North America they have naturalized themselves in the Esquimalt Lagoon (and also in neighboring Albert Head Lagoon) after some of their ancestors escaped from captivity in Beacon Hill Park. Mute Swans are not so large as Trumpeter Swans but the clearly distinguishing mark is that odd-shaped black lump on the upper half of their bright orange bill. The Trumpeter Swan has a pure black bill with no lump.