Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) Native to Eurasia. Introduced and established in North America, with breeding recorded locally from southern Saskatchewan, Great Lakes region (Michigan), southern New York and Connecticut south to central Missouri and along the Atlantic coast to Virginia; other populations have been recorded in the vicinity of Vancouver Island and in Oregon and Indiana; also in other areas of world. In the U.S., the highest winter densities occur in Michigan and along the eastern seaboard from Delaware to Massachusetts (Root 1988).
Mute swans breed in the British Isles, north central Europe and north central Asia. They winter as far south as North Africa, the Near East, and to northwest India and Korea. They have been successfully introduced in North America, where they are a widespread species. They are a common breeding species and permanent resident in various locations throughout Michigan and the eastern United States.
The successful introduction and expansion of mute swans into North America may pose significant concerns to native wildlife. Gavia immer (threatened in Michigan) and recently re-introduced Cygnus buccinator are two species of primary concern. The North American population of mute swans has been increasing steadily since its introduction. These birds are aggressive, and have been known to drive off such stubborn and similarly sized species as Branta canadensis and Cygnus buccinator. Wildlife managers seek to control non-native mute swans in areas where native wildlife is being threatened.
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern
Mute swans have keen vision and hearing. Mute swans are usually silent, as the name suggests. Adults sometimes snort and make hissing noises or puppy-like barking notes or whistles, though the sounds are not far-reaching due to their straight trachea. Also, the sound of the wings during flight, which has been described as a musical throbbing or humming, is very audible. They also use visual displays as a form of communication, such as postures. For example, in an aggressive posture, males often arch their secondary wing feathers over the back.
Communication Channels: visual ; acoustic
Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical