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Word of the Week: Cygnet
June 10, 2022 by High Park Nature Centre

Welcome to Word of the Week! Stay tuned for a new word each week to amp up your nature vocabulary!

Photo credit: Šárka Krňávková on Unsplash

The word of the week is cygnet [cyg-nught] (noun): a young swan

We all know about ducklings and goslings, but we rarely hear about this word for swan babies. High Park is home to two species of swans — mute swans and trumpeter swans. Mute and trumpeter swans can be differentiated by the color of their bills — mute swans having a orange-reddish bill, while their trumpeter cousins having a black bill.

Juvenile swan bills, however, are almost exactly the opposite. Mute swan cygnets have a black bill which eventually turns orange-reddish when they mature, while trumpeter swan cygnets have a pinkish bill which turns black on maturity.

Sources: High Park Nature, The Trumpeter Swan Society

Wish to learn more about birds in High Park? Sign up for our Birds of the City online naturalist course today and take your first steps at becoming a birder!

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