Males being very aggressive to female, keeping her away from her nest.

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  • #47092 Reply
    Terri Curry

    I care for five black swans. We lost one female this year and now we have four males and one female. The female has a nest with six eggs that should hatch in the next few days. The male swans are chasing and fighting with the female swan, and will not let her near the water or the nest. The mate is staying on the nest, but it looks like one of the other males is protecting it.

    What can I do?

    #47271 Reply
    Swan Expert

    Hi Terri

    We would suggest you round up all the males except the male parent. Place all of the other male swans in an area that they cannot get to the nest or the parents. Keep them separated for several months until the cygnets grow in size and can escape any chasing from the males as they may seriously injure or kill the cygnets. You want to give the parents time to rest and bond with the new cygnets so they can adequately protect their young. Just ensure that the male parent is identified and not separated from its family. The Regal Swan

    #47867 Reply
    Terri Curry

    OK, I think the answer will be the same but here is the situation.

    I started with six swans: two Male/Female pairs and one Male/Male pair.One of the male/female pairs are the parents of the four others The swan that died was a female (the mother of the four others). Her partner (the alpha male, and father, of the whole group) paired up with one of the male swans from the male/male pair (his son). The “odd man out” is a male and he is the one hanging around the nest with the male parent sitting on the nest.

    For some reason, with this particular couple, the male spends as much, or more, time on the nest as the female. I have watched it several times with this pair, the female is more aggressive and does most of the “guarding” during incubation. This was not the case with the original parents, she stays on the nest.

    It is the female that is being chased and kept from the water and her nest by the three males. While her partner is staying on the nest.

    So, I have a pair with a nest, and three males that have “changed partners” leaving one male as odd man out. They aren’t harassing him now, but he is acting very upset.

    If I remove the male/male pair and the “odd man out” male to another location there will be three males together. All three are being aggressive to the female…but will they fight with each other if they are moved together?

    As far as age, the original pair is about six years old, this is the one with the female who died. The other four (male/female pair and male/male pair) are three years old.

    It seems like these Swans are breaking all the rules. The “father” pairing up with one of his “sons” just a week after his partner died. The remaining couple who have reversed their rolls in sitting on the nest. And the female being kept away from her nest by the other three males. And the current nesting pair had three nests this year, October, December and now July.

    I apologize, this is all hard to put in words on paper. I will do whatever is best for the Swans. Your advice is so helpful

    Your answer about the weather really helps me understand why so many cygnets, born in the colder weather, don’t make it. And hopeful that the current group will have a chance to make it.

    Well, there you are. I hope I’ve been able to get it all on paper. What do you think?


    #47913 Reply
    Swan Expert

    Hi Terry

    Could you please email your phone number at

    We’ll be able to better assess this situation with some direct questions for you. Thanks. The Regal Swan

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