The Polish swan in Britain & Ireland

Published on 09 January 2018 in Main articles

By Moss Taylor

Abstract A strikingly pale colour morph of the Mute Swan Cygnus olor, commonly called the Polish swan, was first described over 170 years ago, yet is still not widely recognised by birdwatchers and no attempt has been made to establish its distribution and abundance in Britain & Ireland. This paper traces the historical status of the Polish swan and presents the results of a survey in 2016. This shows that Polish swans are concentrated around the eastern and southern coasts of England, and in the Midlands; and that, despite increasing in numbers, they are still scarce birds.

To read this article and each current issue in full, you can subscribe to BB here

A Polish Mute Swan cygnet (the bird with its head up) in a brood of four at Cley, Norfolk, May 2008. Moss Taylor