Swan Stuff

Swans are very unlikely to break your arms!

A healthy diet for swans does NOT include white bread! Corn is much better for them.

Last years cygnets become this years juveniles.

Swans become adults after about three years.

Lots of swans together means a non-breeding flock. This is a bit like a swan night club or “pick-up joint”. Swans at these may well pair up, and then become a bonded pair.

Any two adult swans that become a bonded pair will fly off to find a suitable territory (where there are no other swans) to build their nest, lay their eggs, and rear their young.

Once swans have established a new territory, they will stay around it to defend it against takeover.

Breeding pairs normally produce eggs at the end of March. Incubation takes about 35 days, and the eggs normally hatch in the first week of May.

Breeding pairs will remain close to their nest until their cygnets fly away. There is no definite time when this happens. It may be six months, or it could be into January of the following year if the male swan (cob) is very ‘laid back’ and not too concerned about the offspring staying on. Some males can’t wait for their cygnets to leave and will start chasing them – sometimes actually attacking or killing them if they don’t take the hint.

Breeding swans moult at different times – the female soon after the eggs have hatched, which is usually the first week of May, and the males will begin his moult when the female is fully feathered again, so their is always one of the pair able to defend the family against intruders or predators. The moult takes an average of six weeks.

Non-breeding swans usually start their moult towards the end of June or beginning of August.

Swans mate for life, but if one dies, then after a period of grieving, the other will move on, and may find a new mate. (Swans confronted with the corpse of the partner appear to recognise death and grieve. Without this experience pining seems to take place, with the remaining swan searching and calling for its mate.)

Whilst not particularly talkative, Mute Swans are NOT mute.

Removing one adult from a pair with young cygnets is risky. If the adult is gone too long (which may be a little as a week), there is the possibility that the other parent will reject it when returned, and drive it away from remaining the family unit.

Contact Information

e-mail : peternmartin@uwclub.net

phone : 07802 472788