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Mute swan

Quick facts

Mute swan is a regulated invasive speciesRegulated Invasive Species (MN DNR) are legal to buy, sell, transport, and possess, but may not be introduced into a free-living state, such as released into public waters.

  • Mute swans are aggressive toward other birds and humans,
    and will chase native birds away from nesting locations.
  • One mute swan can uproot 20 lbs of submersed aquatic vegetation daily, reducing the number of native aquatic plants.

Mute swans should be reported. Learn how to report invasive species in Minnesota. 

How to identify mute swans

  • Large, white waterfowl.
  • Adult features are all white, but they have a vibrant orange bill with a black knob on top.
  • Native mature trumpeter swans have all white plumage and all black bills and black legs.
  • Juvenile mute swans have black bills, whereas juvenile trumpeter swans have a mostly pink bill with a dark base and tip.

Life cycle

  • Lay eggs in early spring; usually migrate south in the fall.

Angela Gupta, Extension educator; Amy Rager, Extension educator; Megan M. Weber, Extension educator

Reviewed in 2019

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