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Swan Keeping Terms

June 20th, 2014 | Posted by LadyNerkle1 in Swan Keeping Terms - (Comments Off on Swan Keeping Terms)

    SWAN KEEPING TERMS

Learn the Terms Used by SWAN KEEPERS.  
Many Behaviors you will Observe are Common to Swans in General.

  This is a Fun Topic Page.

Tame White Swans

 Common Name Mute Swans – Tame Swans

Binomial NameCygnus olor

  • Kingdom           Animalia
    Phylum             Chordata
    Class                    Aves
    Order                  Anseriformes
    Family             Anatidae WaterFowl
    Genus                 Cygnus
    Species               olor

Terms Used for Groups of Swans.

a Ballet or Team of Swans.
a Bank of Swans  – on Shore, Coast, Embankment, Boundary, Margin.
a Bevy or Herd of Swans.
a Lamentation of Swans – an Expression of Great Sorrow.
a Drift of Swans – on Water. 
a Game of Swans.
a Wedge of Swans in the Air – Flying in a V.
a Whiteness of Swans.

  • CLICK on Photos to ENLARGE Images. 

Bevy of Tundra Swans Bevy, Bank, Herd –  A Collection of Swans (General).Mute Swan Cygnets

Ballet or Team of Swans.      Group of Swans

 A Drift of Swans.  Group of Swans

A Drift of Swans – on Water.
Drift of Mute Swan Cygnets
Mixed Population –
A Variety of Waterfowl Living Together.

A Game of Swans  – Taking to Air..Migrating Tundra Swans
A Feral Mute Swan – A Exotic Domestic Poultry Living in the Wild.   
                        – Taking to Air..    He is Full Winged.
Mute Swan Flying

Wedge, Flight – A Collection of Swans – Swans in Flight. A Wedge Tundra Swans
A Whiteness of Swans.
Group of SwansAerie - Mute Swan Nesting Site

Aerie – Aierie (English)   The Nest, the Nest Site.Swan Nest Aerie

Barrens – Swans in their Third Year, but which are not yet Breeding.

Brood Swans – Adult Swans Paired for Nesting.Nest Breeding Mute SwansBrood (adjective) Kept for Breeding.

Brood (verb) To Sit upon Eggs to Hatch, as a Bird; Incubate.
Brood Sitting Mute Swan

Cob – The Male of a Pair of Breeding Swans:
  – cob, from Middle English cobbe  – Leader of a Group.
Used for the Male during the Breeding Season.

With Good Health and Care Males may Live 25-50 years.Mute Swan Cob 
Sire – The Male Parent of a Brood of Cygnets.Mute Swan Sire with Cygnet
Maiden Swan – An Adult Female Swan that has not yet Nested.
Generally from One Year to her Third Spring..Maiden Swan

PEN In a Time Gone-by, Swan Primary Flight Feathers were
commonly use for Quill Pens.  The Female “Pen” has the Nicest
Medium Sized Wing Feathers.  And she will Moult First in Early Summer.Swan Quill Feather Pen

Pen – During Nesting Time the Female Parent of a Clutch of Eggs.Mute Swan Pen with Clutch

“Brood Patch” Summary:
By Shedding Contour Feathers from the Pen’s Breast-Abdomen into the Nest..
The Patch of Thinner Feathers Allows the Female’s Body Heat to Transfer
to the Incubating-Developing Eggs..Mute Swan Brood Patch

Brood (verb)To Sit upon Eggs to be Hatched – Incubate. 
Brood - Sitting to Incubate

With Good Health and Care a Female Mute Swan may Live 20-30 Years.
Females have a Higher Mortality Rate During and Shortly after Nesting.

Brood (verb) – To Warm, Protect, or Cover their Young with the Wings or Body.Mute Swan Dam with CygnetDam – The Female Parent of a Brood of Cygnets.

Nesting – The Period of Time when the Swans Lay their Eggs,
and Incubate them to Hatch.Mute Swans Nesting

Patrolling  – While the Female Swan is “Sitting” on their Nest,
the Male will “Patrol” the Nesting Site Area.Nesting Swan Patrolling

Feathering the Nest – Before laying her Eggs in the Nest,
the Female will Rub/Preen loose Breast Contour Feathers into the Nest Cavity.Feathering the Nest

Clutch – A Group of Eggs in the Nest that will be Incubated.Clutch of Eggs

Hatch – Young Birds Cracking and Emerging from their Egg Shell.Cygnet Hatching

June 15th is the Mean Average Date for Mute Swan Eggs to Hatch.
Early Spring Nests Hatch From Late April to the End of May.
Late Spring Nests Hatch by the First Week of July.

We Celebrate June 15th Annually as “Happy Hatch Day.”
 (A Swan’s Birthday Equivalent.)

     Sitting or Standing Sentry.

During the Night Time Hours the Male Swan may Stand Guard
near the Nest while the Female and Cygnets are Sleeping.

Sitting Standing Sentry

Imprinting In Swans – A Newly Hatched Cygnet Fixes its Attention
on the First Object it Sees, Hears or Touches after it Hatches.
Swans Imprinting

The Downy Cygnets will Attach – “Imprint” and Follow this Object, usually its Parent.Swans Imprinting

A “Dam” is the Female Swan while she has Cygnets.Swans Imprinting

 Brood – A Number of Young Produced or Hatched at One Time.
Mute Swan Cygnets 24 Hours Old

Nest Mates Cygnets that ALL Hatched from the Same Clutch.Mute Swan CygnetsMute Cygnet BroodNest Mates Raised Together are Imprinted with Each Other.
Mute Swan Cygnets
Brood –
A Family of Offspring or Young Raised under their Mother’s Care.Brood of Cygnets

A Mute Swan Family Mute Swan Family

Cygnet – A Young Swan from Hatching until One Year Old.

Four Day Old Cygnet.Mute Swan Cygnet 4 Days

Cygnets Three Weeks Old. Three Week Cygnets

Cygnet Three Months Old.Three Month Cygnet

Six Month Old CygnetCygnet Six Months OldNine Month Old Cygnets.

Mute Swan Cygnets Six Months Old

Downy Cygnets – The Stage before Feathers Grow In.Downy Cygnets

Downy Cygnets are Covered with a Thick, Soft Down upon Hatching.Downy Swan Cygnets

Once Healthy Cygnets are Fluffy Dry they are Ready to Swim with their Parents.Mute Swan Family

 Precocial – Young Birds that are Relatively Mature and Mobile
 from the Moment of Hatching.
Mute Swan Cygnet

Swan Cygnets are Precocial.
Swan Cygnets are Precocial
Their Eyes are Open at Hatching.  These Little Cuties just Hatched Hours Ago.
Mute Swan Cygnets
They are Covered with (Waterproofed) Down.  Ready to Swim.
Mute Swan CygnetSwan Cygnets are Ready to Leave the Nest as soon as they are Fluff Dry and Rest a Bit.  
When they Leave the Nest they are Ready to Eat on their own.
Mute Swan CygnetsSwan Parents do not Feed their Young, but take the Cygnets to Places
where Food is Available for the Cygnets to Graze on.

Brood Call – The Cygnets all have Different Vocals.
They Chirp and Whistle to keep Track of Each Other.

Mute Swan Cygnets

Feathered Out – At about 4-5 Months of Age, Cygnets have their First Full Plumage.

Royal Cygnets are Smoky Grey – Shades of Beige-Brown.Cygnet Feathered Out

Polish Cygnets are Creamy White.
Cygnet Feathered Out
Juvenile –
 A Young Swan from One until Three Years Old. Juveniles Mute Swans

Juvenile Groups – Young Swans which Live together in Large Groups.      Young Swans

From these Groups they will Generally find their Mates.
Juvenile Swan

When the Young Swans are Paired, Ready to Mate and Nest…
they will Leave this Group and Find their own Territory.

Young Swan Grey Blue

Grey Birds, Grey Swans –  Young, but Full Grown. 
Swans in the Grey Plumage of Immaturity.   
The Stage between Cygnet and Blue-Bill.
Grey Mute Swan
Blue-Bill –
 A Young Swan up to its Second Autumn
– in Adult Plumage, but not having attained its full Adult Bill Coloration.
Blue Bill Mute Swans

    White Swans – All Swans in White, Adult Plumage.White Swans Mute Swans
Polish Mute Swans
 (Cygnus olor ‘immutabilis’)
are a Leucistic Form of Mute Swan.Polish Mute Swans
A Leucistic Animal has a Reduced Intensity of Pigmentation
                            – while an Albino Lacks all Pigments.

When a Male Mute Swan Inherits only Melanin-Deficient Chromosomes, 
he will be a Polish Mute Swan. Polish Mute Swan CobThe Polish Mute Swan Feet are Light Cocoa Brown to a Rich Chocolate Brown.     
Their Beaks are more Orange than Red.Polish Mute Swan

As Cygnets, the little Polish Females have Pale Pink Feet and Creamy White Down.Polish Female Pink Feet

The Half Polish Cygnet Males tend to have Smokey Grey Feet and Beige Down.  
They are General Classified as “Royal.”Mute Swan Polish Royal You Can Not Determine a Cygnet’s Sex by their Coloration.

Royal Mute SwanRoyal Mute Swans – Have Very Black Feet, their Beak is a Darker Red.

Royal Mute Swan Female

Royal Mute Cygnet

Royal Swan Cygnets – have Black Feet, Darker Blue-Grey Down and Black Beaks.

The Royal Cygnets will have All White Plumage after their First Moult.
Juvenile Mute Swans

(Swan) Farmer – A Lessee of a Game of Swans. 
Swan Farmer

A Game of Swans – All the Swans in a Given Area and the Property of a Single Owner.
Mute Swans

Full-Winged – NO Alteration of the Wing/Wings to Prevent Flight.Full-Winged Mute Swan

A “Rogue” Swan is usually Full-Winged..
They Fly onto your Pond from Out-of-the-Blue.
If you have NO Swan to begin with.. Great !  Enjoy.

BUT, if you have Swans, a “Rogue” Swan will MESS-UP Everything.Female Rogue Swan
Some “Rouge” Swans have been Feral for a While.. more Wild.
Some “Rogue” Swans simply Flew from their Home Pond to Explore.Rogue Swan

Butted – Pinioned – One Wing has the Distal Section Removed to Prevent Flight.                                                          Right Wing Pinioned

Pinion – In the Eastern United States most Swan Breeders will Pinion
Female Swans on the Right Wing and the Males Swans on the Left Wing.

A Properly Pinioned Swan will not be able to Fly.
A Sad but Necessary Procedure.

The Best and Safest Time to Pinion is within
23-72 Hours Up to 14 – 20 Days Old.

Clipped to Keep Grounded.  5-7 Primary Flight Feathers are Cut Short Annually.
                                  – This Keeps the Swan off Balance when they try to Fly.
Swan Clipped******************************************

Knob –  The Black Ball Shaped Structure just above the Beak
and between the Eyes of Mute Swans.Male Mute Swan Knob
It is Quite Large in most Healthy Males…  Larger during Mating Season.

The Female’s Knob is usually a Bit Smaller.
The Female’s Knob will also Increase in Size during Mating Season.

Female Mute Large Knob

The Knob is NOT a Good Way to Determine the Gender of Mute Swans.

– The Knob will Shrink if a Swan is Underweight.
– Some Mature Female Mute Swans have fairly Large Knobs.

– The Knob is mostly filled with Fat Tissue.
– It can Freeze during Extreme Cold.
– This may Result in Pink Scarring.

Mute Swan Beak


Beak-Bill
– Two Bony Projections —the Upper and Lower Mandibles.
A Bony Modification of the Skull.
An External Anatomical Structure of Birds which is used for Grooming/Preening, 
Manipulating Objects, Probing for Food and Eating..Mute Swan Preening

Swans do not have much Bite Pressure.
They are able to “Pinch.”   Maybe causing a Scratch if you Pull Away.

Mute Swan Beak

The Beak-Bill is Covered with a thin Keratinized Layer of Epidermis
known as the Rhamphotheca.

In most Species Two Holes known as Nares Lead to the Respiratory System.

Mute Swan Beak Lore Nail Nail  The Hard Black Tip on a Swan’s Beak is called the “Nail.”  
It is Very Hard like Horn.

The Nail is used to dig into Roots and Tough Fiber Parts of Plants.

Lore – The Area on the Head between the Eye and the Base
of the Upper Part of the Beak.   

Nasal Structures 
A Nostril (or Naris, pl. Nares)
is One of the Two Channels of the Nose,
from the Point where they Bifurcate to the External Opening.Mute Swan Nares

In Birds they contain Branched Bones or Cartilages called Turbinates, 
whose Function is to Warm Air on Inhalation and Remove Moisture on Exhalation.

Nether Chap – Lower Mandible of the Beak.

Swan Lamellae

Lamellae – The Serrated Edge along the Bill/Beak is called the Lamellae.
This Aids Straining Water as the Swans Eat Watery Foods.

Mute Swan Plumage

Plumage – The Feathers

A Mute Swan has over 25,000 Feathers to be Replaced Annually.Mute Swan Plumage

They Moult every Year during the Summer Months.

The Pens Moult during late June and the Cobs Moult during July.

For a Short Time the Swans will look a bit “Shabby.”
During this time they are Unable to Fly.

It takes about Four – Five Weeks for all the New Feathers to Grow-In
and become Firm Enough for Flight.

The New Feathers are “Blood Feathers” and can Bleed PROFUSELY
if Broken or Cut.     

Swan Moulting

Molt – Moult  For Swans:  Moulting is the Periodic Replacement of their Plumage
by Shedding Old, Worn Feathers as New Ones Grow-In.

 Shabby or Shaggy…  Same Stage..  Shaggy Moulting 
The Stage after the Large Wing Feathers have Fallen Out.
The Swans look “Shaggy” when they hold their Wings in Display.

Swan Blood Feathers

Blood Feathers – The Stage of New Growth of the Larger Feathers
when there are Blood Vessels in the Feather Shaft.

Especially, the Tail and Wing Flight Feathers.
If Broken or Cut these Feathers WILL BLEED.Blood Feathers

These Blood Vessel in the Feather Shaft will Atrophy over Time.

Swan Blood Feathers

Swan Blood Feathers

Nictitating Membrane – A Transparent or Translucent Third Eyelid Present
in some Animals and Birds that can be Drawn Across the Eye for Protection
and to Moisten the Eye while also Allowing Visibility.
Nictitating Membrane Mute Swan

In Swans, the Nictitating Membrane Closes Horizontally (side to side)
Across the Eye instead of Up and Down like a Normal Eye Lid.

The Nictitating Membrane also Protect the Swan’s Eyes while they are in Flight.
These Translucent Eye Lids Protect a Swan’s Eyes while they are Looking under Water.

Dipping – Waterfowl Grazing on Under Water Plants..

Socialized Swans

Socialized – Frequent Interaction with Friendly People.
These Swans will come for Food Item and Treats.

Socialized Swans
Many can be Hand Fed.  Many will “Nod” Hello as a Greeting.

Hand Feeding Swan

Watch Males – Cobs for Aggressive Behavior.
Their Behavior Changes during Mating-Nesting Season.

Swan Cob during Mating Season
They CAN NOT Help this.. It is the Cob’s Job to Protect his Female and Nest.
After Nesting Ends, most will be Easier to Spend Time With Again..

Feral – A Domestic Animal or Bird that is Living Off Private Property.Unsocialized Swans

UnSocialized Swans will Keep their Distance when People Approach.  
They are Less Vulnerable to Humans who might Harm them.Unsocialized Swans

Display – When Swans hold their Wings up in the Beautiful “Display” 
of their Feathers.    More frequent during Mating Season.
Mute Swan Display

Posturing –  Males Moving in a STIFF Posture.
Seen more Frequently during Mating and Nesting Season.Black Swans Posturing

Busking – This is a “Threat Display”... Usually by the Male Swan.Busking Male Mute Swan

Especially when a Pair of Swans are Nesting and the Male is Protecting their Territory.

Wings are Up and Wide, Head held on the Back,
Feet Together Powering through the Water –“Pushing Water.”Mute Cob Busking

Be Careful..  This may Lead to the Swan Flying at you. Move to a Safe Place.

“Hormone Hell” – As Mating and Nesting Season Approach,
the Male Swans become very Territorial and Aggressive.Hormone Hell

Their Increasing Reproductive Hormones DRIVE them to Protect their Pond,
Female and Nest Area.  They will Chase and Defend.

Swan Cobs are “Hormones with Wings.”

This is their Job.     Try to Give him SPACE and Understanding.

Aggressive Swan Behavior

Flog – Flogging – Swans Whip and Beat with their Wings in a Repeated Action
as their Primary Aggressive Defense.

The Power of a Swan’s Flogging Wings. . . HURTS ! ! Swan Pinion Joint

Flapping   A Stretching, Flapping Action of the Wings to Work
the Swans Muscles and Realign their Wing Feathers.
Swan Flapping

Wing-Tipping – Running and Flapping over the Surface of the Water.Swan Wing-Tipping

Up-Ending – When Waterfowl Reach Down Underwater as far as possible.   Up-Ending

Their Tails will be Pointing Skyward.

Preening (of Birds) – To Maintain Feathers in a Healthy Condition by Cleaning,
Arranging and other Contact to their Feathers with their Bill.
Preening Mute Swan
Swans may Preen One to Two Hours a Day.
Often done after their Splashy Bath.WaterProofed Feather

Oil is Rubbed through the Feathers to Aid WaterProofing for Buoyancy.

Swan Preening Oil

Preening Fluffs Air into the Feathers for Insulation.

For Swans “Preening” is also a Social BehaviorAcceptance.
Preening Social Behavior

They will Stand along a Bank Together and Preen.
Expressing an Acceptance of Each Other.

Mute Swan Preen Gland
Preening Gland Uropygial Gland
A Preening Gland
is Found in the Majority of Birds.

It Secretes an Oil (Preen Oil)   See Image.
This Gland is found between the Back and the Tail under a Flap of Feathers.  

The Waxy Secretion is Released to the Surface of the Skin through a
Grease Nipple-like Nub.Swan Preening Gland

The Swan Transfers this Oil to its Feathers by Rubbing its Head against
the Oil Nub and then Rubbing the Oil all over their Body.

WaterProofing – Oiling the Feathers Aids the Trapping of Air in the Feathers.WaterProofing Feathers

Along with the Air in the Lungs….   Swans FLOAT…..

Roost A Place where the Swans feel Safe to Rest and Sleep.
Swans Roost Sleep
Keel –
  The Breast Area.

Keel Mute Swan

 

Mute Swan Heel-Hind Toe

Heel – The Hind Toe

Cloaca -Vent  
In Zoological Anatomy, a Cloaca is the Posterior Opening
that Serves as the only Opening for the Intestinal, Reproductive, and Urinary Tracts
of certain Bird Species.

The Cloaca – is Present in Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians, most Fish, and Monotremes.  Mute Swan Cloaca

Vent – The Opening for the Elimination of Digestive Waste.

Cloaca – Vent
The Area where Gender Sexing might be Determined.
If you Locate a Penis… It is a Male…
But, not finding it DOES NOT mean you have a Female…
Not a Sure Method for Sexing Swans.

DNA-Feather Testing – is the Standard Gender Sex-Testing.  DNA-Feather Sex Testing

Sing-Snorting –  A Happy Song of Snorts into the Air.Sing-SnortingWe have seen this often when a Swan is Alone and is Possibly Calling to Find other Swans.

Pair-Bonding – Male and Female Swans Develop an Attachment to each other.Pair-Bonded Swans

They will Spend most of their Time Together.

They will learn to Work and Play together,
Court, Mate, Nest and Raise their Young together.

Courting – Swans Show Affection by Head Turning Breast to Breast.
Courting Swans

Often they will Head Nod and Snort into the Air.
Courting Mute SwansCourting Mute Swans This Behavior will Increase as Mating Season Starts.

Mating – I refer to this as the “Mating Ballet.”

Swans Mating Ballet

Mating Ballet (noun)
A Classical Dance Form demanding Grace and Precision 
and Employing Formalized Steps and Gestures Set in Intricate,
Flowing Patterns to Create Expression through Movement.

Swan Mating – is a Beautiful Dance moving Side by Side around the Water
Alternately “Dipping” their Heads into the Water.  This may last 3-20 Minutes.
Dipping Side by Side

Once they Start to Cross their Necks, Mounting is about to take Place.Crossing Necks

Mounting – The Male will Move to Stand on the Female’s Back.
He will Curl his Tail under the Female’s Tail.Male Swan Mounting

The Female is PUSHED Under the Water.
The Male GRIPs the Back of the Female’s Neck and Pulls her Head up.
– The Female will Squeal.
Male Pulls Female Head Up

Cloacal Kiss –  Mute Swans Mate for Reproduction by the “Cloacal Kiss.”
Pressing their “Cloacae” together for only a Few Seconds.
Just enough time for the Male’s Sperm to be Transferred to the Female.Swans Cloacal Kiss

The Rising-Up – Once the Sperm is Transferred to the Female, the Pair will Turn
and Face Each Other and Foot Pedaling Breast to Breast UP Above the Water.

Swans Rising-UpThey will Snort and Squeal.

The Joyful Bath – The Happy Splashy Bath after Mating.Swans Joyful Bath

Play Chasing –  A Silly, Happy Game of Tag..   Lots of Splashing.
Swans Play Chasing
Lettuce Play – “Let Us Play”Lettuce Play "Let Us Play"

Swans LOVE Lettuce.
If you Give them a Head of Lettuce.. they will Play with it,
Sharing the Fun of Pulling the Head Apart.Mute Swan Let Us Play

HARDWARE Disease – Swan are Attracted to Shiny Things.. 
Shiny Metal.. Hooks, Coins, Hardware like Nails, Screws, Soda Can Tabs,
Rings, Jewelry, etc.  Small Pieces of Litter.
Swallowed Metal will not Pass through their Gizzard, it Slowly Dissolves
becomes Toxic, causing Heavy Metal Poisoning or Fatal Punctures.
Swan Hardware Disease
Winter Wakes –  Selected Areas of Water in which the Ice is Kept Broken
or Open for the Accommodation of Swans.Winter Wake for Swans

Waking Time –  Periods of Hard Frost during which Wakes are Kept OPEN 
and the Swans are Tended and Fed.

Wintering – The Collecting into Convenient Places of all Swans in a Given Area.
Swan Keeping Terms

Making and Keeping OPEN Wakes (Water) for them.
Tending and Feeding Swans during Periods of Snow and Prolonged Frost.

Winter Support for Swans
WILD Swans – are Native Swans Living Free to Migrate.Wild Tundra Swans
Mute Swans –
are Exotic Domestic Poultry.Mute Swans
Captive Swans –
are Living in the Care of Humans.Captive Mute Swans
Feral Living Free – Returning to Living Wild from a Domestic/Captive Life.Feral Mute Swans
Feral Animal/Swans
that are Living in the Wild.
They may have Escaped from Private Ownership or Descended from Domesticated Pets.Feral Mute SwanExamples: Full-Winged Swans or their Cygnets that Simply Fly Away from Private Property.

Some are Discarded Pets, no longer Wanted and turned Loose to Fend for themselves.Discard Pet Mute Swan

Living Free – will be a BIG Risk to their Live – Day by Day.
Swan Keeping Terms

 

Chaperon Fence –  A Safe Place for Introducing A New Swan to a Pond.
This is a Safe Way to Introduce Swans to Each Other.
Swan Keeping Terms
Bumble Foot Sores – Painful, Swollen Sores on the Feet of Birds/Swans.  Swan Bumble Foot Sore

Excessive Pressure or Breaks in the Skin may cause these to form.
These Infected Sores Need Attention, they may Result in Permanent Limping, Difficulty Walking.  
The Infection may become Septic, Spreading through the Body… Increases Mortality.

********************************************************************
Swan Keeping Terms
Aviculture – Raising and Care of Wild Birds in Captivity, for the Breeding of Game Stock,
the Perpetuation of Declining Species, or for Display and Education.Swan Keeping Terms

Culling – Reduction of a Wild Animal Population by Selective Slaughter.Swan Keeping Terms

TAXIDERMY – Best to Keep Mute Swans from Living Feral & Free.
Swan Keeping Terms
Addling
– The Act of Causing Fertilized Eggs to Lose Viability,
Killing the Developing Embryo by Shaking, Piercing, Freezing
or Oiling, without Breaking the Egg Shells.Swan Keeping Terms

OILING – SPOILING EGGs – Coating Fertile Eggs to Prevent Hatching.Swan Keeping Terms

                               **********************************
SPAY
– Sterilize a Female Mammal by Removing their Ovaries.

NEUTER – Sterilize a Male Mammal by Removing their Testicles.

Remember Swans are NOT Mammals..
Their Reproductive Organs are Not Anatomical Similar.

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Information Compiled by (C) Linda M.Sweger            UpDated    JUNE 2021
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