Mute Swans in Myrtle Beach, SC

A pair of Mute Swans crosses Cactus Avenue near Mallard Lake Drive.

Mute Swan in Myrtle Beach, SC

Swan #2 mimics the position of Swan #1 in above photo when it reaches the same spot in the street.

Swan Crossing

By Henry H. Mitchell, April 6, 2009.

After turning from Mallard Lake Drive onto Cactus Avenue, we found our way blocked by a pair of very slow-moving Mute Swans (Cygnus olor). Swans are so graceful in the water, it is almost comical to watch them waddle ever-so-laboriously on land.

Swans usually mate for life. This pair of swans is often seen on the lawns in this neighborhood, not far from several lakes and ponds.

Mute Swans were imported to the United States over a century ago for decoration of parks and lakes. They escaped into the wild, and and are considered to be invasive (not friendly to native wildlife and habitat) and aggressively territorial.

These Mute Swans seem to find the South Carolina coastal region quite to their liking. However, a 2003 federal study indicated that Mute Swans were not known to have arrived in South Carolina until 1993, and by 2002 only 27 were known to be residing in South Carolina (in contrast to over 4000 in the Chesapeake Bay). One might speculate that South Carolina's alligators (and also perhaps alligator gar fish) tend to severely limit the expansion of the state's swan population!

This guide to Myrtle Beach is sponsored by Mitchells Publications.