Sunday 18 August 2013

A white Mute swan cygnet in the brood

White cygnet 

I came across this white cygnet in a family of Mute Swans this evening. Both its other siblings were the normal brown colour and this one looked really odd, the bill is also a lot lighter.

On reading my books and a bit of googling I find there are a few possible explanations.... one being known as a "Polish Swan", which has pink legs and feet. The morph immutabilis ("Polish Swan") has pinkish (not dark grey) legs and dull white cygnets. (Wikipedia).

I don't have any photos that show the legs so that's a target for later in the week.

The other possibility is that it has a leucistic gene.

White cygnet 

On checking an earlier photo dated 6/6/2013 I now question whether one of the cygnets was whiter than the others on that occasion. Had I risked a better camera in the kayak then I may have been able to answer that question!

2 months ago when the cygnets were first introduced to the river, is the one nearest the Penn.

I found some interesting research at the following blog.....