We’ve been lied to as children – an ugly duckling cannot become a beautiful swan. Ducklings become ducks; only a cygnet can become a swan. This fable gave all us ugly people false hope. Some people (like me) start life off ugly and grow up to remain ugly, or possibly become even uglier.
Swans don’t have to worry about these things – they’re all beautiful, as you will see in the tattoos I have selected for this post. There’s a kawaii swan, black and grey swans, and many neo traditional swans, with quite a few produced by some of my favourite Australian tattooers.
Enough of my ramblings and exposing my insecurities, here’s 20 swan tattoos along with some true facts about swans.
There are six to seven species of swans which include the mute, trumpeter and the whopper swan.
Geese and ducks are close relatives with swans.
A male swan is a cob while the female is a pen.
There is such a thing as “divorce” with swans, however most will mate for life.
Their long-lasting monogamous relationships has seen swans used as a symbol of love and fidelity.
The black swan is the state bird emblem for Western Australia.
While plumage can vastly differ between males and females in other bird species, both sexes of swan look alike, however the males are generally larger.
You will not find any black swans in the Northern Hemisphere – those species all have pure white feathers.
All swans (no matter the hemisphere) have dark grey legs, although two South American swan species are the exception to this fact – they have pink legs.
Swans are the largest birds in the waterfowl family.
Along with condors, vultures, and the albatross, swans are one of the largest birds with the ability to fly.
Swans do not have teeth, rather their beaks have serrated edges. This is giving me flashbacks of being bitten by a swan while on a family holiday…
While predominantly herbivores, swans will occasionally eat small fish, frogs or worms.
Swans will lay anywhere from 3 to 8 eggs.
Swans become aggressive whenever anything approaches their nest. This behaviour cost a man his life in the US, according to this report from the BBC.
During the reign of Elizabeth I, swan meat was regarded as a luxury food.
Swans have long had a place in Irish legend and literature.
Swans feature in Greek, Norse, and Finnish mythology, and are revered in Hinduism.
Baby swans are called cygnets, not ducklings – yeah, I still can’t let this fact go.
Mother swans carrying their babies on their back as they float on water is the cutest thing you will see today. Fact. Scroll down to see more.