These seven mute swan cygnets presented a pretty sight on the canal at Anderton Country Park yesterday. Here’s the uncropped image showing the parents.
Still fiercely protective, the adults kept a wary eye out out until we were clearly going away.
Why are these swans called ‘mute’? Because they are not very vocal, compared to other swans.
Why are the young called ‘cygnets’? Well ‘cygnus’ is the old Latin name for swan, with ancient Greek origins. So we use the old Germanic-Saxon name ‘swan’ for the adult and the Roman-Greek name ‘cygnet’ for the child. Don’t ask why! It just shows how mixed in we’ve always been with Europe.