A-z - Animals

What Are Cygnets Called + 4 More Amazing Facts!

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Do you want to know what the little swan is called? Did you know they are very big babies? We all know that swans are beautiful and graceful creatures, but there are many other facts about them that you may not know.

Let's dig into five amazing facts about cygnets!

#1: Cygnets are called cygnets!

cygnet close-up
Little swans are called cygnets.

© iStock.com/Freila

When swans are born, they are called cygnets, pronounced sign-net. Cygnets keep their name until they are one year old, at which point they have two name choices. Adult male swans are called cobs and adult females are called pens.

Although there is no specific term for a group of cygnets, a group of swans is called a flock.

#2: Cygnets have conscientious parents

cygnet hitchhiking
Swan parents are very concerned about the lives of their children.

© iStock.com/Lemanieh

While it's no secret that swans mate for life, there are some common misconceptions about them. For example, if a swan in a relationship dies, the remaining swans usually find another mate. The same is true if a pair of swans has not given birth to babies. People often think that if these things happen, they will stay alone, but this is usually not true.

Mating isn't the only thing swans do together for their babies. The female swans incubate the eggs, while the cobs swim outside to protect the new mother and unhatched babies.

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At about one year old, cygnets will be alone in the nest and responsible for joining new flocks. Most swans remain in their chosen flock for their entire lives.

#3: Swans can swim for hours after hatching

papa and cygnets
Swan cygnets perform their first swims just a few hours after birth.

©iStock.com/Stanislav Sablin

As soon as the swan hatches, it goes into the water. It's hard to believe that such a newborn baby can already learn to swim, but it's true! Cygnets just a few hours old are strong enough to have the instincts they need to start swimming.

A cygnet's first trip into the water is primarily a test run, supervised by the mother swan. However, sometimes swan cygnets get their first taste of small bugs and other treats near the water. These are important skills that young birds need to learn so they can survive independently in the wild.

#4: Cygnets are big babies

cygnet portrait
Swan babies are bigger than ducklings.

©iStock.com/yanjf

There is no doubt that ducklings and swans have many similarities. However, when it comes to their birth size, they are very different.

When a newborn duck just hatches, it only weighs about 50 grams. On the other hand, when a swan cygnet hatches, it weighs a staggering 200 to 250 grams! A duck weighs about 2 to 3 kg as an adult, while a swan weighs about 14 kg!

The largest swan baby to date is the trumpeter swan baby. Not only are they massive in size compared to other birds, but the trumpeter's swan is also one of the largest flying birds. That's no surprise, considering they can have a wingspan of up to eight feet.

#5: Swan Swan Mark

a flock of cygnets cygnets
Swans Swans leave their imprint on the first thing they see, whether it's their mother or an airplane!

© iStock.com/Dmitry Potashkin

Imprinting is when babies program themselves to listen to their mother's every word and follow her endlessly. For cygnets, this means that the first large moving object these babies come into contact with will be something the cygnet follows during the first 6 months of life. This is why they are often seen following their mother and everything depends on her.

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cygnet portrait

© iStock.com/yanjf


FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is the name of the little swan?

Little swans are called cygnets. Adult male swans are called cobs and adult female swans are called pens. Baby swans are not considered cygnets until they are one year old. A flock of baby swans does not have a specific name, but a group of adult swans is called a flock. Mother swans care for the eggs and babies, while father swans protect them.

How much does a cygnet weigh?

When they hatch, cygnets weigh around 200 to 250 grams, which is quite heavy for a flying bird! By the time they are six months old, they will weigh several kilograms, weighing around 7000 grams, or 7 kilograms. As full-grown adults aged 2 to 4 years, they can weigh 13 to 15 kg.

What do cygnets eat?

Newly born cygnets do not have to eat for a few days as they absorb any leftover yolk from the eggs before hatching. Cygnets feed primarily on pond vegetation and small bugs trapped in the water. Adult swans eat algae, tadpoles, bugs and other things they find in shallow water. Swans are scavengers, not hunters.

Where does the little swan live?

Cygnets are born in nests that their mothers build with the help of their fathers. Nests are constructed from twigs, dry grass and other vegetation. Usually, the mother will build the nest near the water's edge for easy access to water. These nests are located on rivers and lakes. Cygnets will live here with their parents for about a year, during which time they learn all the necessary life skills from their parents. Antarctica has no swans.

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