The Waterways of Lake St. Louis swans look beautiful on the 4-acre lake they call home. Swans are known to be symbols of love and devotion, but are they really romantic? At The Waterways of Lake Saint Louis, our swans certainly seem smitten with each other. It’s true swans usually mate for life (ours have!). And, it’s also true they have beautiful courting rituals. Everyone is familiar with the sight of two swans bending their necks to be beak-to-beak in the shape of a heart.

Not all swans form the classic heart-shape. There are several types of swans. To name just a few: trumpeter swan, whooper swan, and the black swan. The Waterways swans are called mute swans. Mute swans are the type you’re familiar with from legends and storybooks. “The Ugly Duckling” was a mute swan. And, it’s mute swans who are known for making the heart-shape when they flirt.

Mute swans form the classic image of devotion, with their curved necks either entwined, or only beak-to-beak, in a perfect love heart. It’s part of a courtship ritual, in which pairs face each other and, with a ruffle of feathers and wings aloft, elegantly bow.

Once courtship is over, male and female swans really do stay together for life, with few exceptions. This is unusual for birds. Other birds will raise their young as a pair for one season, but move on to new mates the next.

But despite their name, mute swans are anything but silent. Their courtship “dance” has a playlist of hissing and grunting sounds. If they’re afraid, or feeling protective of their families, they┬árear up with dramatically flared wings and hiss, grunt, snort and flap. This is called “busking.”

The Waterways of Lake Saint Louis swans add greatly to the outdoor beauty of our extensive grounds. We appreciate them even more in February, when romance is in the air!

See more about the outdoor beauty of The Waterways of Lake Saint Louis here.