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The mute swan (Cygnus olor) is Britain's largest bird, and one of the heaviest flying birds in the world; adults can weigh over 15 kilograms. The combination of their large size, very long neck, white plumage and orange-red bill with a black knob towards the top of the bill makes them easily to recognise. Males (cobs) and females (pens) are similar in appearance, although males are slightly larger and have a more prominent knob on the bill. Juveniles are greyish-brown with a grey bill, which lacks the knob seen in adults. Contrary to the name, the mute swan produces a range of vocalisations, including a rumbling 'heeorr', and an aggressive hissing noise when threatened. The wings make a loud 'clanking' in flight.



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