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Mute Swan on Muskrat Lodge

14205 views Earl Hartlen January 9, 2021 Vittoria, ON Date shot: January 6, 2021

The Mute Swan, identified by it's orange bill with a black knob, is one of the world's largest waterfowl and one of three swan species that occur in North America. This bird is not native to the continent and is considered an invasive species outside of Europe and Asia. Mute swans were brought here by European settlers during the 1870s to adorn parks, gardens and estates. Since then, feral populations have established and flourished in some areas due to escapes from captivity or intentional releases. The largest populations currently occur along the U.S. Atlantic coast and in the lower Great Lakes region of the U.S. and Ontario, with a smaller population in southern British Columbia. The other two swan species are the Tundra and Trumpeter. No, that's not a beaver lodge, beavers build dams to create ponds by blocking off streams, muskrats don't. Although both animals make dome-shaped lodges, muskrat lodges are smaller, mostly made of plants like the common cattail.

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