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In the Nov. 2006 issue of Birds & Blooms Extra (not exactly a
scientific magazine, but one of my favorites), there was a little
article about Mute Swans.  They were introduced to the US in the
mid-1800s as an ornamental species for large estates.  The population
has swelled to over 17,000. The article says they are bullies and they
cause damage to habitat and native species of fish, songbirds and
waterfowl.  They sometimes attack dogs or even humans.  Also they are
a threat to endangered Trumpeter Swans.  So wildlife experts want to
reduce the Atlantic coast population to 3,000, and the National
Audubon Society is all for it.  In the British Isles, Mute Swans are
protected by law.

Interesting.

Susan Eaton
Kirkwood, St. Louis Co., MO
[log in to unmask]

On 2/19/07, Mick Richardson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> This afternoon there was a Mute Swan just downstream of the Clark Bridge on
> the Missouri side of the river. Nearby were some Common Mergansers (1 m, 2
> f). Just upstream of the bridge, and actually under it at times, were a flock of
> Canvasbacks, a male Bufflehead, and a pair of Lesser Scaup.
>
> I don't think I have seen a Mute Swan there before. I hope they will not
> become established in the area because they eat the food that would
> otherwise be eaten by native species of waterfowl. I think of them as giant
> white-feathered rats (or starlings) and I would much rather see the native
> swans.
>
> Mick Richardson, Kirkwood, St. Louis Co.
>
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*              Audubon Society of Missouri's              *
*                Wild Bird Discussion Forum               *
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* To access the list archives, click here:                *
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* To access the Audubon Society of Missouri Web           *
* Site:  http://mobirds.org                               *
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