Swans at Windsor
 

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Swans are large water birds of the family Anatidae, which also includes geese and ducks.

Swans usually mate for life. The number of eggs in each clutch is between 38.

Young swans are known as cygnets, from the Latin word for swan, cygnus. An adult male is a "cob", an adult female is a "pen".

The town of Windsor, England, is on the River Thames, 21 miles west of London, and is dominated by the magnificent Windsor Castle, the world's largest and oldest occupied castle. The castle was built by William the Conqueror almost a thousand years ago and has been lived in by English monarchs ever since. It has been substantially altered and added to over the centuries. It is the favored place for Queen Elizabeth to live

The River Thames at Windsor is inhabited by flocks of swans.

 
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The role of swan-upping was to round up unmarked cygnets and once the parentage of the cygnets had been established to the swan masters satisfaction, the birds could be marked appropriately and returned to the wild. The ceremony exists these days in a largely symbolic form, although as an exercise it is useful in monitoring the condition and number of swans on the Thames. 

Royal swans are no longer marked, but an unmarked mute swan on the Thames is regarded as belonging to the Queen. The Queen still maintains an officially appointed Swan Keeper, and the ceremony still takes place on the Monday of the third week in July.

The Queen has a prerogative over all swans in England and Wales. The Swan Keeper also despatches swans all over the world, sent as gifts in the Queens name.

Questions? Contact Alison Pryce

Swans at Windsor England

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