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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2016

Windsurfing in Mute Swans (Cygnus olor)

Terenius, Olle


Mute Swans (Cygnus olor) were observed using tailwind as a support for high-speed water transportation on three different occasions in three different locations in Sweden. With the wings arched over the back, they traveled similar to 100 m in an inlet of the Baltic Sea in Stockholm, several hundred meters in Lake Hjalstaviken in Enkoping, and similar to 350 m in Lake Krankesjon in Lund. The speed of the movement was estimated to be much higher than normally seen for swimming swans. The first observation included two Mute Swans traveling one after another in the same direction, the second observation was of one single individual traveling towards a group of conspecifics, and the third observation was of a single individual traveling by itself. This behavior may serve as a means of medium-distance water transportation in this heavy bird species.


aggressive posture; Cygnus olor; Mute Swan; water transportation; windsurfing

Published in

Wilson Journal of Ornithology
2016, volume: 128, number: 3, pages: 628-631

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology

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