Where are eggs/cygnets

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  • #215189 Reply
    Jenny
    Guest

    A pair is swans breed every year at a local lake. This year she laid 8 eggs. I went back over a week later and found one live newly born cygnet and two eggs just there not sat on. No sign of the other 5 eggs or bodies of dead cygnets. Can you tell me what might have happened please? Very sad.

    #215194 Reply
    Swan Expert
    Keymaster

    Hi Jenny

    Once the female swan has most of her eggs hatch, she will take the cygnets to the water 24 hrs after hatching. She will return to the nest for a couple of days. During this time, there may be some eggs not hatched and late hatchlings. However, if there are late hatchlings, the mother swan will not wait for the them to catch up to the rest of the family. Usually, these are the weaker runts and nature will not allow the rest of the family/ flock to be subjected to illness or slower cygnets which also invite predators.

    Better to lose one or two than the majority.

    Now, if a predator or other disturbance was in the area, the mother would quickly move the viable cygnets to a safer area. The Regal Swan

    #215199 Reply
    Jenny
    Guest

    Thanks very much. Very helpful. Just wondering why there is no trace of the other 5 eggs. No cracked shells or dead cygnets. Predictors maybe? Or do swans take their dead cygnets away?

    #215231 Reply
    Swan Expert
    Keymaster

    Hi Jenny

    Parent swans will keep the nest cleared and will take dead cygnets or rotten eggs to the pond. This keeps predators from being attracted to the nest. Sometimes, small pieces of egg shells that are not carried away can be found below the nest bowl.

    Now, having said this, predators can also carry cygnets and eggs from the nest. The Regal Swan

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