Swan, Fauna in Co. Mayo

The swan has a strong associations with this area as the legend of The Children of Lir takes place on the Mayo's island of Inishglora.

In Mayo two species of swan can be found: Mute Swan and Whooper Swan.

The Mute Swan was probably introduced into Ireland by the Normans and it is very common. The name "mute" comes from the fact it is less vocal than other swan species. At maturity it is white in plumage with an orange bill bordered with black, while the cygnets have a grey or brown plumage.

Its scientific name is Cygnus Olor, while the Irish name is Eala Bhalbh.

The Whooper swan lives where there is a large area of water, especially when they are young because their legs cannot support the body's weight for a long time, so they stay in the water swimming, straining the water for food and eating plants.

It is a well-known winter migrant visitor to the north and west of the country. This bird carries its neck more or less erect and ruffles out its back plumage. It has an angular head shape and a bill that shows more yellow than black.

The scientific name is Cygnus Cygnus, the Irish one is Eala Ghlorach.

The Whooper Swan is listed in the Red Data book Species under the Amber List.