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August 18, 2021 at 8:33 pm #157555Carol ElamGuest
Our pair of swans hatched 4 babies this year. Due to the protective nature of the adults, our homeowners association voted to rehome the adults, leaving the young alone at about 6 weeks old. (This was very controversial, however, liability issues of being attacked by an adult won out) One young died of natural causes, so we are left with three adolescents. The three are now 3 months old. I’m seeing they are beginning to exercise their wings. Will they fly away? Some are saying they need to be sexed to avoid inbreeding and that we should only keep two of the same sex. Also, some think three will become competitive and gang up on one. This entire situation has frustrated me and I worry that no experts are being consulted regarding what is best for the birds. I’m hoping to gain some insight to help with our situation! Help!
Oklahoma USAAugust 19, 2021 at 2:06 pm #157575Swan ExpertKeymaster
This whole situation is a fiasco and the homeowners association obviously had no idea, probably spoke to someone from the local state wildlife office. These wildlife offices want all Mute Swans dead so they can introduce the larger Trumpeter Swans for Trophy Waterfowl hunting. Unfortunately, your homeowners association is now part of the killing program.
No cygnet (baby swan) should be separated from their parents until they are at least 6 months of age. The cygnets cannot protect themselves from predators or receive education from their parents on how to survive and become swans.
The Mute Swans are no more aggressive than any other wildlife protecting their young. As long as no one is approaching the nests or families, harrassing with jet skis, boats, etc., the parent’s defensiveness would have dissipated within 2-3 months. All anyone needed to do was stay away from the family. So, again, the HOA really had no basis for removing the swans unless someone complained and wanted to use this as an excuse for removal knowing the cygnets would eventually die and problem alleviated. The entire family should have been removed as a whole if they wanted them removed. In all probability, the parents were killed not relocated and residents were not told. We hope that we are wrong, but have seen this inhumane “relocation” by HOA’s too many times.
The cygnets may eventually try to fly awa, but will most likely stay because they were not taught how to fly or go somewhere else., All will get along fine together. No, there is no need for checking for gender for fear of genetic defects. Birds are not like mammals, can interbreed with no issues.
What actually needs to be done in this situation is to capture the 3 cygnets and relocate them now. The parents will not take them back after such a long period of seperation, so they need to be relocated somewhere that they will be cared for and protected. When breeding age is achieved, the same issue will be raised again, and these swans and their families will be seperated. It is obvious the HOA does not want the swans and the best thing to do is find a safe protective caring home for them now. The Regal Swan Foundation