A mute swan can live thirty to forty years in captivity. They weigh up to fifty pounds and have flight speeds of fifty to fifty-five miles per hour, producing a musical wing beat. Mute swans are powerful birds, known for protecting their lifetime mate and cygnets (their offspring). Like all creatures, mute swans have natural enemies. A fox will steal swan eggs or kill young cygnets. Other enemies include raccoons, seagulls and otters. Even crabs and turtles pose a danger to young cygnets, preying on them from below and pulling them under water.
In the beginning of our swan journey, my husband and I saw only the external beauty of the mute swan. Over time we discovered the intelligence of these territorial creatures. Devoted mates, mute swans exhibit a family unit similar to humans. The males help raise the young, while the cygnets stay close to their parents during their first year, learning migratory routes and feeding locations.
-From The Forward