And here is some exclusive footage of the Mute Swans in Marsalforn Valley which was taken on site by BirdLife Malta this morning. The Mute Swan is native to much of Europe and Asia, and (as a rare winter visitor) the far north of Africa. The name 'mute' derives from it being less vocal than other swan species. Measuring 125 to 170 centimetres in length, this large swan is wholly white in plumage with an orange bill bordered with black. It is recognisable by its pronounced knob atop the bill. Mute Swans nest on large mounds that they build with waterside vegetation in shallow water on islands in the middle or at the very edge of a lake. They are monogamous and often reuse the same nest each year, restoring or rebuilding it as needed. Although the Mute Swan's status is 'very rare', some of these birds are recorded in the Maltese Islands from time to time in winter (mostly December and January), especially when it is a really cold winter in Europe. Some records are of small flocks. BirdLife Malta augurs that the general public enjoys this rare spectacle that the beginning of 2017 has brought with it. This is the right way to enjoy the beauty of nature!