Normal? Or is something amiss

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  • #45983 Reply
    Zorada piepoli

    Greetings from Staten Island,
    There is a swan couple who have 4 cygnets. I’m guessing about 4-5 months old. They’re still brown and about the size of a Canada goose.
    One cygnet however, is smaller than its siblings. Also, the smaller one doesn’t always swim around the Harbour with its family. Today I saw it resting in some reeds while the others were out and about. Today I did see it swim around with the others but it was getting picked
    On by a sibling (sibling grabbing neck, snapping, chasing).
    Is the neck grabbing and snapping, chasing normal sibling behavior, is it smaller in size because perhaps it is a female? Resting while others swim around—is that odd or perfectly normal?
    Thanks for your input!

    #46222 Reply
    Swan Expert

    Hi Zorada

    The larger siblings can and will pick on the runt of the family if it cannot keep up with the rest of the family. But, usually this harrassment by the siblings or parents means that the member being picked on has something wrong with it such as being sick or injured.

    If this is the case, the sick or injured cygnet will be harrassed or abandoned by the family which causes the young bird to hide by itself. This will also cause great stress to the cygnet and its health may suddenly disintegrate.

    Nature will sacrifice a sick or injured family member so as not to jeopardize the health of the entire family or flock. A sick member can spread disease to the family or cause a predator to be alerted and attack not only the sick or injured cygnet, but also the entire family.

    Is there any wildlife rescue facility in your area that might be able to check on the cygnet? Having asked this question, you must also be aware that many states, but specifically New Jersey and Michigan will actively kill the parents and entire family if you seek help.

    State and federal wildlife officials have perpetuated one of the greatest hoaxes on the U.S. taxpayers by labeling the Mute Swan as non-native and invasive (detrimental to the habitat). Nothing could be farther from the truth, but are non-scientific justifications for getting the public to accept the killing of the Mute Swans across America. The end goal of wildlife officials is to remove Mute Swans from their habitat and introduce the larger Trumpeter Swans for Trophy Waterfowl hunting. Trophy permits cost more and are a means to raise money for shrinking wildlife budgets.

    Unfortunately, the taxpayers are paying billions of dollars for the entire eradication of one species for the introduction of a more huntable species. Additionnally, the National Audubon Society and Cornell University, both of which proclaim to be bird advocates promote this killing program. So, please check out your state’s stance on Mute Swans before seeking help as if you live in one of the killing states, the swan family can be at grave risk. The Regal Swan

    #46323 Reply
    Zorada piepoli

    Thank you for your response.
    All of them were swimming together this morning-I’ll take that as a good sign. But will certainly continue to observe them.
    How barbaric and disturbing. I had no idea mute swans were under attack. I will most certainly research NY laws regarding mute swans before/if I need to reach out to a wildlife facility. I won’t do anything that poses even the slightest risk to the family.

    I appreciate your advice so much!

    #46497 Reply
    Swan Expert

    Hi Zorada

    You are very welcome. We are one of the groups that helped stop the killings along with several politicians: Senator Avella, Assemblymen Cymbrowitz and Englebright. A 2 year moratorium was passed to stop the killings in NY until the NY DEC could provide scientific justification. Unfortunately, the moratorium runs out this year and the NY DEC has already tried to reintroduce the same non-existent to shoddy reasoning they were using 2 years ago. You can read about the issue on our facebook page: The Regal Swan

    Please contact your state senator and assemblymen to permanently stop the killings in NY. The Regal Swan

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