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May 26, 2020 at 7:05 pm #135621zoeGuest
A pair of mute swans with 7 new born cygnets disappeared overnight. They were living for years in a creek in front of our house in long island, new york.
Three new swans appeared in their place. What could have happened. We are really concerned about them.May 27, 2020 at 6:48 am #135635
There is always a possibility of predation (human or wildlife). However, the presence of three new swans may be a better answer. If the three new swans are juveniles (less than a year), there would possibly be a fight, but usually the established pair would win. Seeing there are three, this would be the theory that they are juveniles dispatched from their parents and they found your area. If they were adults, there would usually only be two and the third dispatched from the area due to breeding. In the event of adult swans, there would also possibly be a fight and either pair (old or new) could win the territory.
More likely is that the parents have moved the cygnets to another area away from the nest. This usually happens two weeks after hatching. Nature moves families and hastens offspring growth to protect them from predation. Since you have been getting rain, there may be better food resources in outer areas and the family has moved to take advantage of better food and habitat ( shelter) resources.
The last possibility would be predation. If something happened to the cygnets, the parents would carry on as if nothing occurred. Hormones would dissipate along with the usual territorialism that occurs during mating season. Your two swans may now be with a new swan. Unfortunately, the killing of Mute Swans is not to be occurring in NY by the NYDEC, but there is always the possibility that the killings are still occurring. Hopefully, this is not the case.
Check the area around the canal for other reed/wetland habitats and watch that mother swan is not carrying the cygnets under her wings. The swan family may still be nearby. FYI- the adult swans can move cygnets very far in a short period of time if the need for more food resources or safety is required. The Regal SwanMay 27, 2020 at 6:28 pm #135649zoeGuest
Thank you for the quick response.
I’m happy to report that the female swan(?) appeared today with all 7 cygnets at the end of the creek close to the nesting area. The other 3 swans (I cannot really tell if they are adults or not, but the are full size) are still around, closer to the entrance of the creek. So far no sight of the male swan around the female.
I suppose its possible that the couple moved their nest although they were always around the same spot for at least the last 12 years since we moved in our home.
I’ll keep you posted.May 27, 2020 at 10:59 pm #135654
Great news. The male is probably still in the area patrolling the territory. We look forward to an update. The Regal SwanMay 31, 2020 at 3:01 pm #135751zoeGuest
Everything is back to normal. The couple with all cygnets are around their usual spot.
We are relieved to have them all back.
Thank you for all your help.
ZoeJune 3, 2020 at 5:14 pm #135803
Excellent news Zoe. You are very welcome.