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Mute Swans – Polish

April 6th, 2020 | Posted by LadyNerkle1 in Mute Swans - Polish - (Comments Off on Mute Swans – Polish)

( Just a Color Variant)

There is a Color Variation in Mute Swans.
Cygnus immutabilis (changeless Swan).

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From the Swan Keeper’s Handbook:
“Polish Mute Swans (Cygnus olor immutabilis) are a Leucistic form of Mute Swans.

A Leucistic Animal has a reduced intensity of Pigmentation while an Albino lacks all Pigments…

Polish Mute Cygnets are Creamy White to Light Beige when they Hatch.
Their Tiny Beaks are varying Shades of Light Brown.


Their Legs and Feet are Pinkish/Beige.

The Adult Polish Mute Swans have Apricot to Orange Beaks.

Many have Beige/Light Brown Legs and Feet.

Polish Mute Swan Male

The Polish Male’s Legs and Feet may be Shades of Dark Orange to Chocolate Browns.

The Pale Webbed Foot of a Polish Mute Swan.

The Immutabilis Form is less Common in the Mute Swan Populations
than the Royal form, and there tends to be
more Female Polish then Male Polish Swans.

Records suggest this Mute Swan Variant was first seen along the Baltic Sea Coast
of Poland (hence the “Polish” name) and then brought back to England
to Breed for the Color Variant as a Novelty Swan.

In the Middle Ages of Europe, the Polish Cygnets were Highly Prized
for being (almost) White from the time they Hatched.

As their Numbers increased, it was noted they had a more Stocky Breast Muscle.

Averaging 15-20 Pounds at 6-7 Months Old.
Not all Swans were in England, where they were Protected by the Royal Crown
– (Today King Charles.)

Imported to Eastern England and Raised as a Meat Bird,
they became the Preferred Swan Cygnets for Winter Holiday Feasts.

In the 1800s, both Royal and Polish Mute Swans were brought to America..
The Polish were often raised on Farms as a Meat Bird.

The Royals were more likely to be for Show on Estates Ponds and Lakes.

As the American Settlers found they liked the Taste of the Wild American Turkey,
the Polish Swans gradually Stopped being raised as Food
and became mostly Pets – Poultry LiveStock.


Today, most Swan Breeders prefer to Raise a Pure Royal Line..
They Command more when Sold.

Royals are Preferred for their Stricking Black Feet and Rich Orange-Red Beaks.

Both Royal and Polish Adult Swans have White Plumage.

I like the Polish Swans, I find them to be less Aggressive.
My Sample is Too Small to say this is a Fact… just my Experiences.

You may find mention of the Polish Variant Swans given the Species Name
– Cygnus immutabilis.

Polish Mute Swan Female

The “Polish Mutes” are not a Different Species, just a Color Variation,
which is the Result of a Sex-Linked Recessive Inheritance.
A Pigment (Melanin) Deficient Gene in the Sex Chromosomes
is what causes the Whiteness.

The Fuzzy Down of the Tiny Polish Cygnets is Creamy White rather than Grey.

Their Beaks, Legs and Feet are Pale.

Depending on the Parents Genetics..
You may have BOTH Polish and Royal Cygnets in the Same Brood.

I do not Understand how this Genetic Trait Demonstrates.. it is Confusing.
Mammals have Genetic Dominant and Recessive Traits.. Predictable Outcomes.

But, Birds Genetics are like Reptiles.. I have not found a Good Explanation..

The First Five Years, I was Learning about Swans,
an onLine Article (Since Removed) Stated that all White Cygnets would be Female..

I LIKE to Collect Data.
We send DNA for Sex Determination for all the Swans we work with…
Surprise ! There are Polish Male Swans.

Fewer Males then Females, but Sending DNA for Sex Determination
on ALL Swans and Cygnets has put that Old Claim to Rest..
There are Newer Articles that have Corrected the Information..

Polish Mute Swan Cob

Years Ago, I Read an Anecdotal Article that some Royal “Sires”
will not tolerate their White Cygnets..

Polish Mute Swan

Hormonal Male Swans are Very Territorial, and they React AGGRESSIVELY toward White.
(Do not wear White near a Swan Pond in Early Spring.)

This may have been a Unique Story: A Farmer noticed his Male Cob
was killing the White Cygnets and Raising the Grey Ones..
One Spring when the Cygnets Hatched, he Quickly Scooped-up the White Ones..
and Stained them with a Safe Cloth Dye..
The Darker Color Dye Faded as the Cygnets Grew..
The Account said, the Cob was Caring for all his Cygnets
as the Dye was Fading and some became Pale… (-;

Personally, I have Notes of the “Dams” going after their Polish Cygnets..
Whatever the Reason, Avian Infanticide does Occur with Swans.
There are Probably many Reasons.. ???
Do the Parent Swans see these Pale Cygnets as Defective.. ??
There may not be enough Reasons for this to be Studied.

The Creamy White Cygnets are EASILY Seen by all their Natural Predators..
Hawk, Owl, Snapping Turtles, Cats, etc.

The Polish Cygnets tend to be the First to Disappear from a Mixed Brood..

Linda M. Sweger Information Organized UpDated May 2021