On the reservoirs of Belarus you can quite easily meet a large white bird from the order Anseriformes - mute swan (bel. Shypun swan, lat. Cygnus olor). This is the largest representative of swans living in Europe and Asia. The bird is recognizable: it has white plumage, a black and red beak and black legs. One of the interesting features of this type of swans is that the bird bends its neck in the shape of the letter “S”.

What does a mute swan look like?

It’s a sad fact, but the mute swan for many years, specifically from the late 19th to the mid-20th century, was almost never seen in our country and was even completely exterminated. The restoration of the population began in stages since 1963, and the process itself lasted for several decades.

Mute swan photo

In Belarus, the mute swan periodically stays for the winter, but most of the birds fly away in the second half of autumn and return in late March - early April. Swans are monogamous birds, they mate for life and try to stay with only their family.

Photos of swans

Mute chicks hatch in late May - early June, usually about 5-10 swans. What is interesting is that the processes of raising offspring are shared between the female and the male.

Shypun Swan Belarus

Swan chicks are gray in color and stay close to their parents for almost their entire first year.

cygnus olor

You can often see swans riding on the backs of their parents, a cute sight.


Externally, the mute swan can easily be confused with a whooper swan; the main difference is the size and color of the beak (the whooper swan has a yellow beak and a slightly smaller size).

What does a mute swan look like?

Favorite habitats are bodies of water with standing water and an abundance of vegetation along the banks. The main diet is aquatic plants. Since 1993, the mute swan has been included in the Red Book of Belarus.

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