And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle, (Leviticus 11:18 KJV)
Swans have been written about before with Birds of the Bible – Swan I and Swan Loyalty. Because of the Lord’s amazing creation of the birds, there is always more to find out about them. In the first Swan blog it was mentioned that there are 6 Swans in the Anatidae family. Well, that is incorrect. There are 6 swans in the Cygnus genera (division of a family), but there is another genera called Coscoroba. This genera has only one swan, the Coscoroba Swan. So, there are 7 Swans.
The Coscoroba has the ones who study birds (taxonomist and others) in a quandary. They are not sure if it is a swan, duck or goose. “Externally, the body, head and legs appear to be more like a goose than a swan. As an example, their body is much smaller in comparison to other species of swans; the largest species average double the weight and have a wingspan at least 40% larger. Since they are smaller in size compared to other swan species, coscoroba swans require shorter distance to lift off from the ground or water. In contrast to other species of swan, coscoroba swans have a shorter neck and longer legs. Another feature that distinguishes coscoroba swans from other species is that feathers cover their facial skin, instead of bare skin extending from the bill to the eye. This species also lacks the characteristic basal knob found on all other five species of swans. Compared to other swans, the bill of a coscoroba swan is smaller and more resembles the bill of a duck.” (Animal Facts, Woodland Park Zoo)
They went on to say that it sounds more like a goose, doesn’t carry young on back like swans and that their young look more like young whistling ducks. Considering that the Anatidae family consists Ducks, Geese, and Swans, sounds like they are all in the same “created kind” for sure. They have been doing as they were command by God to:
And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth. (Genesis 1:22 NKJV)
The Coscoroba Swan lives mainly in the southern part of South America and prefers shallow areas of lagoons, swamps, ponds, or areas with lots of vegetation. They are between 34.6-45.2 inches and males can be as much as 11.9 pounds and the female 10 pounds. “Inside the bill, there are serrated comb-like structures called lamellae, which help filter food. When eating, swans scoop up water and food, hold it in their mouth and squeeze out the water through the lamellae.”
They are all white except for the 6 black feathers at the tips of their wings. Speaking of flying, here are some interesting facts. (When migrating, the flock maintains visual contact as much as possible and will call out to each other to stay united during inclement weather or poor lighting conditions. During migrations, coscoroba swans may fly with flamingos or black-necked swans (C. melanocoryopha). Migration routes may take place at extreme elevations; researchers have noted swans flying at elevations of 26,277 feet (8,000 m). These high altitudes allow the birds to take advantage of stronger air currents. Additionally, swans almost always fly in a V-formation to save energy, as the bird in front creates a slipstream for the bird behind it to fly through.” (Animal Facts)
There are many more fascinating facts about these swans and the others, but these should help you appreciate Our Lord’s love and care for His Creation.
Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. (Isaiah 40:28 KJV)
Coscoroba Swans Avian Web (Nice Photos)