Can Swans Fly? Height, Speed,
& 22 More Fun Facts!

If you are interested in knowing about the Swan's ability to fly and other unique behaviors, then this post is for you! Keep reading to find out.

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David A. Swanson

September 15, 2021

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What’s This Post About?

Swans continue to live up to their reputation as attractive birds. Their white feathers and long, curvy necks make them stand out in the lakes where they live. They are massive birds that may weigh up to 30 pounds and measure 56 to 62 inches in length. They have been documented to survive for up to 30 years if kept in a safe environment.

Swans belong to the Anatidae family, which includes the genus Cygnus. Additionally, geese and ducks are swans’ closest cousins. Swans are members of the Cygnini tribe and the Anserinae subfamily. Swans are large birds that glide across the water and fly by gently flapping their wings.

Swans of all kinds can fly extremely high, reaching heights up to 8000 feet. These beautiful creatures are recorded to fly at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour or even more. Although from the moment they lose their flying feathers to the time they grow new ones, they cannot fly for roughly six weeks.


What Is The Wingspan Of A Swan?


Their wingspans may exceed 3.1 meters (10 ft). They are significantly bigger and have proportionately larger feet and necks than related geese. Adults even have an ‘unfeathered’ area of skin between their eyes and beak. The appearance of the sexes is similar; however, males are typically larger than females.

The Swan’s wings create a continuous whistling or humming sound in flight that can be heard for more than a mile, and it may enable the birds to converse with one another. A group of swans flying together or simply in flight is known as a bevy.


Swans can grow up to a height of six feet.


Following is the list of 22 unique facts about these beautiful birds.

  • When swans kiss, they extend their necks and assume the shape of a heart; a unique sight or phenomenon is often observed and even photographed. This is a stunning and lovely view to contemplate. If you live in an area with swans, you might be able to see it if you wait long enough.
  • A Swan has approximately 25,000 feathers on its outer skin. They are entirely white in color and make the Swan’s appearance appear to be really beautiful.
  • The continents, including Africa and Antarctica, are entirely devoid of the existence of Swans. The reason might be the unsuitable weather conditions or the unfavorable environment that does not encourage migration (If we’re talking about the migratory species).


  • Black Swans only exist in Australia and New Zealand. This is because they are native to these two locations and have not been spotted anywhere else in the world. This makes them an exclusive eye candy for tourists and travelers visiting Australia and New Zealand.
  • The breeding season of a Swan ranges anywhere between 32 days to 45 days. They incubate and hatch eggs within this period.
  • Swans have a shedding season in the summer called molting. Shedding is the process through which the bird’s old feathers fall off and new ones grow in their place. Most likely, all of the feathers are replaced within a year.


  • Under the royal prerogative, the British Crown claims rights to all unmarked swans on open water in the United Kingdom. This implies that they possess all of the swans that can be found in the British waters.
  • Swans face an urgent threat from water contamination. Pollution has been a threat for a long time, and with ever-increasing pollution in their environment, they are in danger. Pollution must be controlled in order for them and their species to thrive in peace.


  • An interesting point to note is that if nesting fails, swans prefer to split and part ways. Even though the odds of that happening are slim because these birds are monogamous and mate for life, research suggests that this has been a cause of swan ‘divorce.’ Swans have a divorce rate of less than 5%.
  • Swans have been seen falling prey to the several industries that specifically cater to the pet and animal trade market. The strangest thing is that swans have long been used as decoration pieces and ornaments in parks and elite towns.
  • Swans are believed to be intelligent creatures that seem to remember faces. So, when someone provokes them, that person is not likely to be spared the next time they encounter the Swan they annoyed. They can identify human faces and have excellent recalling ability.


  • Swans are harmless unless provoked. A man suffered from a broken leg after he was ferociously attacked by a swan back in 2001. The Swan attacked the person, causing his leg to break.
  • A female swan is referred to as a pen, whereas a male swan is referred to as a cob. A cygnet is a name given to a newborn swan.
  • During mating season, a variety of grunting and hissing noises follow courtship rituals. During mating, some swans sing or honk and engage in synchronized swimming and head tilting.

  • Due to their enormous size, swans have extremely few natural predators. Swans and their eggs are naturally preyed upon by foxes, wolves, and raccoons. This increases safety and minimizes the risk of becoming prey to other mid-sized animals.

  • Since swans are aquatic birds, they often need a run-up which would be a minimum of 30 yards, so that they can prepare for the flight with ease.
  • Among the swan species that differ in size, color, and behavior are the Black Swan, Trumpeter swan, Tundra swan (including Bewick and Whistling swan), Mute swan, Black-necked Swan, and Whooper swan.
  • Swans have ears, but they do not look anything like human ears. Their ears are similar to those of reptiles.


  • Swans enjoy temperate environments.
  • Many species of swans are migratory or are partially migratory, while others inhabit the same regions all year round. The Swan, known as the Mute Swan, is a partially migratory being, living in parts of Western Europe but migrating entirely in Asia and Eastern Europe. The Tundra, Whooper, and Trumpeter Swans are all totally migratory.
  • A young swan usually stays in a flock until it is around four years old and considered an adult. It then seeks a partner, usually from the flock in which it resides, and departs with the partner to locate its own breeding region.
  • Some humans naturally fear swans, and it is commonly known as cynophobia or kiknophobia. They feel like they will either attack or hurt them and, hence, tend to stay away as far away from them as possible.



Swans are the type of waterfowl that have caught the eye of several bird lovers; their behavior forefronts, unique characteristics, and species have always been a factor that has piqued their interest.

These birds live up to 12 years in their natural habitat, and if taken under captivity, they have been recorded to live for more prolonged periods extending to even 30 years.

As discussed in the post above, swans of all varieties may soar to up to 8000 feet. These magnificent birds have been seen flying at rates of up to 60 miles per hour or more. Although they cannot fly for around six weeks from the time they lose their flight feathers to the time, they grow new ones.

If you are interested in learning more about the swan family, here’s a post on ducks and their species, along with some intriguing photographs.

7 Cute Duck Breeds with Yellow Ducklings [24 Pictures!]

While having yellow offspring isn't necessarily standard, many species like Pekin and Mallards have yellow ducklings!

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By David A. Swanson

Bird Watching USA

My name is David and I'm the the founder of Bird Watching USA! I started Bird Watching with My father-in-law many years ago, and I've become an addict to watching these beautiful creatures. I've learnt so much over about bird watching over the years that I want to share with the world everything I know about them!

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David A. Swanson Picture

David A. Swanson

Bird Watching USA

My name is David and I'm the the founder of Bird Watching USA! I started Bird Watching with My father-in-law many years ago, and I've become an addict to watching these beautiful creatures. I've learnt so much over about bird watching over the years that I want to share with the world everything I know about them!



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