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Graceful as a … Swan?

Swans are known for their striking white plumage and their long, graceful necks.

Turns out, however, that those necks may be the only graceful thing about them!

Because they’re big birds (most weigh more than 20 pounds) and because they fly at speeds of 30 to 50 miles an hour, they tend to have some difficulty performing aerial maneuvers. Collisions with bridges, buildings and overhead wires are not uncommon. Consider these facts:
  • Of 2,050 mute swans found dead in Great Britain, 65% were involved in collisions.
  • One swan was seen flying into the Dover Cliffs.
  • Swans have been known to crash into planes.
  • On one occasion, over 100 whistling swans were caught in the rapids of Niagara Falls and swept over
  • In Great Britain, a farmer reported that his cow sat on and killed a swan that was attacking it.

Reprinted from U.S. Art

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