Fun Fact Mute Swans & Priscilla Yellowhead Tobey


Trumpeter swans are native to Ontario while mute swans are not.
The name mute for this swan species was due to their hoarse, muffled trumpet or bugle call given during territorial defense. It doesn't carry like the calls of other swan species. Mute swans also make an explosive snorting or hissing sound when threatened or disturbed. Their aggressive behavior and voracious appetites can disturb local ecosystems, displace native species, and even pose a hazard to humans.

The black knob at the base of the male mute swan's bill swells during the breeding season and becomes noticeably larger than the female's. The rest of the year the difference between the sexes is not obvious.

The mute swan is reported to mate for life. However, changing of mates does occur infrequently, and swans will remate if their partner dies. If a male loses his mate and pairs with a young female, she joins him on his territory. If he mates with an older female, they go to hers. If a female loses her mate, she remates quickly and usually chooses a younger male.

Based on banding records, the oldest known mute swan in North America was a male and at least 26 years, 9 months old when he was found in Rhode Island in 1988, the same state where he was banded in 1962.

Swan Lake was first performed on March 4, 1877 and was regarded as a failure. Critics dismissed Tchaikovsky's music as too noisy. Dancers disliked the fast-paced score. It wasn't until after Tchaikovsky's death that French choreographer, Marius Petipa, revived the iconic ballet.

We wish to thank Priscilla Yellowhead Tobey for her teachings of 4 sacred medicines and 7 sacred animals while interactively creating medicine bags for interested passerbys during the Downtown Orillia street event, Merchants and Makers on Saturday. From those who participated the comments from adults and children were heartfelt gratitude for the opportunity.

On your next visit to Bird House Nature Company be sure to see the handmade items Priscilla has available in-store for sale.