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Swan

: Now a protected bird the swan is traditionally seen as a 'royal' bird. It is thought that ‘Richard the Lionheart, King of England’ (UK) brought the first swans to the country from Cyprus after the Third Crusade. According to mythology ‘Zeus’ appeared to ‘Leda’ in the form of a swan, but the swan is known universally to be dedicated to ‘Apollo’, the Greek god of music. There is a belief that when the bird is dying it sings, which gives rise to the expression 'swansong' (in reality the bird makes a hissing sound). If a swan lays its neck back along the body during the day then a storm is on the way. One belief tells that a swan cannot hatch the eggs unless there is thunderstorm. A Scottish (UK) tradition follows that to see three swans flying together is a sign of an imminent national disaster.