Mute Swan

As a youngster you may have been warned to keep away from swans, as they are strong enough to break a man’s arm but does this urban myth have any truth in it?

Although, mute swans will aggressively defend their nests during breeding season and have been known to attack people using rivers, such as rowers or angles, reports of injuries are rare and they are not usually violent enough to break a human bone.

If you approach a swan in the springtime, it may hiss and flap its wings, but the risk of critical danger is minimal although you could be left with nasty bruising if the swan decides to attack. The bones in a swan's wing are much smaller and thinner than human bones; they are also fairly light and hollow. So if a swan was to give you a thump with its wing strong enough to break your arm, it's more than likely it would injure itself instead.

However, we have included swans in our list of the ten most dangerous birds in the world, due to at least one reported incident in which a swan has killed a man indirectly.

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