8 Differences between A Swan and A Goose with Table

What is the difference between a swan and a goose?

Swan and goose look similar at first sight. They are both waterbirds from the family Anatidae. They both have webbed feet that help them move forward while swimming.

They both evolved out of ducks’ long time ago. Swans and geese split from each other and evolved separately.

The main difference between swan and goose is that swans tend to be larger in body size, wingspan, and weight while the goose is comparatively smaller.

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Differences between A Swan and A Goose

Comparison Table (Swan vs Goose)

Characteristics Swan Goose
Classification There are 7 species under the same genus, Cygnus. There are 22 species under 3 genera.
Size They are larger in body length, wingspan, and weight. They are comparatively small in body length, wingspan and weight.
Appearance They have long and thin necks with an S-shaped curve. They have short, thick, and straight necks but longer legs than swans.
Color White with some black spots. Blackish, grey, or brown with white marks on the belly and tail.
Habitat Mostly found in cold or temperate climates. They are only found in the Northern hemisphere, North America, and Europe.
What they feed on They feed on aquatic vegetation, mollusks, small fish, frogs, worms, small grass from the land. They feed on grass, stems, roots, leaves, shoots, stems, bulbs, grains, and berries.
Predators They have fewer predators due to their large size. They have more predators as they are comparatively small in body size.
Lifespan They live between 20 to 30 years. While in the wild they live between 10 to 12 years but in captivity, they can live beyond 30 years.
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What is a Swan?

A swan is a water bird from the family Anatidae. They are mostly found in cold and temperate climates but not in Antarctica regions.

The swans evolved from ducks and formed the 7 species whereby one species has been extinct. There are one species that is not considered to be a true swan but it exists. The species is referred to as the Coscoroba species.

They have long necks, webbed feet, broad bill, and short legs. They are white in color and a few black spots. In rare cases, they appear completely black in color.

They have a jagged bill that acts as teeth for catching and eating fish. They also feed on aquatic vegetation, frogs, worms, and small grass from the land.

They mate for life and they are protective of their nest and in case of a threat, they show aggressive behavior.

They have few predators because of their body size. Their predators are foxes, coyotes, raccoons, and wolves. Wolves hunt on swan’s eggs or adults.

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What is a Goose?

The goose is a water bird from the family of Anatidae. They are found in the Northern hemisphere, North America, Asia, and Europe.

They evolved out of ducks and formed 22 species under 3 different genera. They split from swans to form their own species million years ago.

They have comparatively shorter necks, small in size, less in weight than the swan. They have blackish, brown, or grey color with small white patches on their bellies and tails.

They are very social birds. They do not only come together for the purpose of mating. They live together as they are small in body size and tend to have many predators.

They are docile but at times they are quite aggressive. They vibrate their necks and charge towards the enemy when threatened.

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Main Differences between a Swan and a Goose

  1. Swans have long necks while geese have short and thick necks.
  2. Swans are larger in body length, wingspan, and weight while geese are comparatively small in body length, wingspan and weight.
  3. Swans are white in color with small black spots while geese are blackish, grey, or brown in color.
  4. Swans have fewer predators due to their body size while geese have more predators as they are comparatively smaller in body size.
  5. Swans are mostly found in temperate and cold while geese are found in the Northern hemisphere, North America, Asia, and Europe.
  6. Swans are not social birds while geese are social birds.
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Similarities between a Swan and a Goose

  1. They are both water birds.
  2. They both come from the same family.
  3. They both evolved from the duck’s family.
  4. They both mate and reproduce.

In Conclusion

Swans and geese are water birds that evolved from the duck’s family. They come from the same family although they are different from each other.

Swans have long necks forming S-shape while geese have short and thick necks. Swans are not social birds, they only come together during the mating time while geese prefer living together as they are mostly attacked by predators due to their body size.

The main feature that makes swans different from geese is the body size.

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