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Do Swans And Geese Mate?

Do Swans And Geese Mate?

Swans and geese both belong to the family Anatidae and subfamily Anserinae. Hybridization is not uncommon among geese, swans, and ducks. It is a desire for many to see the hybridization between the aquatic birds. A lot of researches happen to find out how it happens and they finally found it.

Forced copulation is extremely common among geese, swans, and ducks. When a male swan or goose chooses to mate with an unwilling female goose or swan forcefully is one way of mating between aquatic birds. It happens within the same species but rarely also occurs between similar species. 

Do Swans And Geese Mate?

You might have heard of geese mating with swans, it is not uncommon for geese and swans to be bisexual. The offspring of a swan and goose is known as a Swoose. From insects to mammals, homosexual behavior is very common in the animal kingdom. There are only a few animals that seem to be lifelong homosexuals mating for life.

Swan And Goose Behavioral Differences

Swans and goose behavior are quite similar. Both generally mate for life but when their mate dies or separates, they find a new mate. Geese and swans get back year after year to the same location where they were born. They build new territories by accident because they get puzzled by storms during the migration or due to lack of resources namely food and water, or being driven out by competitors. 

Geese are quite social birds as compared to swans. However, swans are typically less social birds. Geese are often found in large groups of geese, swans, and sometimes ducks even during the breeding season. There is an advantage of being in a large group that predators are less of a threat. During the winter season, swans are mostly found in flocks with other waterfowl but they prefer to stay with their mate. Sometimes, mated pairs are also found living separately as they enjoy their independence.

Swan And Goose Breeding Habits

Both swans and geese mate for life. Breeding behavior varies among species. Swans start mating around the age of 4 or 5 years but rarely early as 2 years while geese mate at the age of 2 or 3 years. Apart from mating, geese start their nesting season earlier than swans. The nesting season of swans is April to June whereas, geese nesting season occurs between March and May. Geese and swans raise young with both the mother and father present as each protects and provides food. 

It is strongly believed that swans and geese starve when their mate dies, it is not true, they find another mate if one of the partners dies because swans and geese are monogamous birds.

Though a couple of swans are best known as the symbol of love and devotion, they share a strong bond with their partners. But in some cases swans pairs get separated from each other. Whereas a goose pair never breaks the bond with their partners.

Do Swans And Geese Mate?

Differences Between A Swan and A Goose


Swans are generally found all over the world except Antarctica. They love to float and swim in freshwaters like ponds, lakes, and slow flowing rivers. While they are in their nesting phase, they tend to prefer their nest near freshwaters. You will find their cradles on small islands and bordering water sources. Whereas the goose can only be found in the northern hemisphere, in Europe, Asia, and North America. Most goose-like their habitats between water and land, they spend time on forests, fields, and the tundra as well as in lakes, rivers, and oceans. They can also co-habit very well with humans in public places like parks and farms.

Do Swans And Geese Mate?


Swans and geese both are mainly herbivorous birds but rarely they can be seen to eat small insects. Geese are herbivores birds but mostly feed on roots, grass, and leaves of plants in the land. Domesticated geese also feed on rice and corn. Apart from these, geese also feed on small insects. 

Swans are aquatic birds who spend most of their life in water. Their diet consists of algae, plants, leaves, roots, and seeds. Rarely, they also eat shellfish but it seems to prefer a vegetable-based diet. But only the cygnets (baby swans) eat the shellfish. They gradually feed on animals with age. That being said, the diet of the domesticated geese and swans differs from those living in the wild.


Though both the swan and the goose belong to the Anatidae family, it is really important to note that they belong to different subfamilies and tribes. For instance, the swan belongs to the subfamily of Cygninae thas has six kinds of swans and many other species. Whereas the goose is much more diversified than swans, belongs to different subfamilies and tribes. There are three major types of geese; The black geese, The white geese, and The grey geese. Under its single genus, Cygnus, there are only seven subspecies.

Size And Appearance

Swans and geese look identical to each other as they belong to the same family. Due to this most people really get confused to recognize them. The notable difference between a swan and a goose lies in the shape of their neck. Swans have an S-shaped curve to their neck whereas the geese have a short and straight neck. Apart from that, geese have longer legs than swans


The geese and ducks are the swans’ closest relatives. Swans are grouped with the closely related geese in the subfamily Anserinae, where they form the tribe Cygnini. Swans and goose both are bisexual. Swoose is the offspring of the swan and goose. Homosexual behavior is extremely common in aquatic birds. One way is forced copulation between geese and swans where the male swan/geese forcefully mate with female swan/geese. Though it normally happens within the same species sometimes, it can occur between similar species. Geese attain sexual maturity when they are two years old, whereas swans attain sexual maturity at the age of 4 to 5.

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