|Irish Name:||Eala bhalbh|
|Scientific name:||Cygnus olor|
Resident at wetlands throughout Ireland.
Large white swan, with an orange-red bill with prominent knob on the forehead, black nostrils and cutting edges.
Despite the name, not mute! Adults give a curious snorting or rumbling sound. Juveniles beg with high-pitched whistle. Hisses when alarmed. Does not call in flight, but a loud whistling sound is produced by the wings.
Water plants, which these large birds can reach with their long necks at depths of up to one metre. Also graze on land and occasionally feed on small amphibians, snails and insects
Clutch: 4-7 eggs (1 brood) Incubation: 34-45 days. Fledging: 120-150 days (precocial). Age of first breeding: 3 years. Breeds on lakes, ponds and rivers, and nests are a large mound constructed from reed stem and other aquatic vegetation, with seaweed being used in coastal locations.
Widespread on lakes, ponds and rivers.
Common and widespread resident in lowland freshwater lakes.
Largest wintering numbers (250-2,000 birds) found on Loughs Neagh & Beg & Upper Lough Erne in Northern Ireland, and Lough Ennell, the Shannon Callows and River Slaney in winter.