Reply To: Swan killed by predator

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John Kelmeris

Thank you so much for your feedback. We believe looking back at all of our photos that this more than likely is the male. The good news is the cygnets stay right by his side and also takes them on land. So hopefully they would be cared for. We would have to keep an eye on them. What I am concerned about is the other predators with only one adult to defend them. Every year we usually have 5 to 7 cygnets and only 1 to 3 survive due to marsh hawks or snapping turtles. We have been dumping chicken gizzards in the lake to try to distract them ( keep them full). We have had the same pair of swans on our lake for nearly 2 decades before the incident with the hunter 2 years ago. Fortunately right after that another mate flew in and they paired instantly. At that time we could not tell which swan was taken. Since then we locked down our private lake and posted no hunting and trespassing signs everywhere. So it would be illegal. I am actually the president of our lake association and I give no one permission to hunt around our lake. We will take strides to block off the only path that will take predators to their nest from now on. The nest is surrounded by water but I found only feathers on land about 15 feet from the nest. It was almost like he/she saw a predator and went after it to defend the cygnets. I just feel awful again for the remaining adult and wish I could change things or done something to prevent this. Hopefully the adult will be alright by itself and stay around. There is no shortage of food in our lake. Once again I appreciate the information and let you know how they are doing. Is there anyway I can attach photos of the cygnets to send?