Swan Expert

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  • in reply to: How do I protect my swans #200602
    Swan Expert
    Keymaster

    Hi Juliana

    We are so sorry for your loss. The coyote issue is actually the easier to solve. You would need to enclose the pond with a 6 foot fence with a barrier at the top of the fence bending outward so nothing could use the fence to climb over and into the pond. The bottom of the fence would need to be sunk into the ground aporoximately 2 feet with chicken wire placed under the fence, extending 2 feet inside and 3 feet outside the fence, covered with dirt. The chicken wire must be used around the entire perimeter of the fence so nothing can dig under the fence.

    Snapping turtles are a difficult issue as you would have to find and remove any large turtles. You would probably need some wildlife permit for removal and would need to hire a licensed wildlife trapper for assistance.

    Venomous snakes are the most difficult because they can enter, exit and habitate an area and you may not be aware of their presence.

    We are not sure where you are located, but,$2250 a pair seems rather expensive. We know Bob Knox deals in swans and a pair are not that expensive 847-875-3947.

    Now, having said this, your male swan is fine with or without another swan. Do Not place another male swan in the pond because they will fight, seriously injure each other to the point one or both could be killed. Male swans usually, not always, but usually do not re-pair with another female once something happens to their old mate. This is an individual attribute, but you would have to build a pen, (again enclosed top to bottom, no steep entrance to the pond, half in water and half on ground) with feeder inside. The female needs to stay in the pen for approximately 2 weeks to see if the male is going to accept her. Any signs of defensiveness towards her will mean you will need to see if the seller will take her back or you will need to find her a new home.

    The best thing to do is to leave the male alone. Introducing another swan(s) that are not familiar to your pond, increases the chance of coyote/snapping turtle encounter. Introduce some other waterfowl such as small geese or ducks to the pond. Even though he does not have a mate, during nesting season, he will become more defensive of his territory due to hormones and may chase the other waterfowl, especially if they have young and try to protect their family.

    Finally, if you live in the U.S., you will be responsible for any offspring of a Mute Swan that may be produced by a mating pair. You must have the cygnets pinioned (rendered unable to fly) at 1-3 weeks of age. If the parents chase them from your pond for the next breeding season, you will be responsible for finding them a good home. Selling them or giving them back to just any breeder would not be an acceptable good home, but may become necessary. Just make sure your breeder(seller) is reputable. Once you have a mating pair on your property, you may be considered as a breeder under some state laws and you will need to have a breeder’s permit. A pair of Mute Swans can produce 1-8 cygnets a year. If the parents begin chasing them, do you have an alternative plan for cygnet placement elsewhere? Now, you see why we maintain that you and your male swan are better with no other swan being introduced to your habitat.

    Federal and state U.S. wildlife officials wrongly assess Mute Swans as non-native and invasive (which research shows they are a Sentinel species and native). These wildlife officials have the intent of killing Mute Swans in the U.S., so they can free habitats for introduction of the larger Trumpeter Swans for Trophy Waterfowl Hunting purposes. Trophy Waterfowl hunting permits are more expensive and increase revenue for wildlife budgets. So, you must be careful in maintaining your swan(s) to prevent wildlife officials from placing undue hardships on you for possession and maintenance. We hope this information is of benefit. The Regal Swan

    in reply to: Spraddle leg #173773
    Swan Expert
    Keymaster

    Hi Kari

    This could be any number of causes, i.e., the parent swans or other waterfowl accidently stepped on him, some type of injury from entering or exiting the water or neurological caused by lack of Vitamin A in the diet ( cracked corn) or other issue such as fungus, parasite, bacteria or viral. The best thing to do is to have him looked at immediately by an experienced avian/ waterfowl veterinarian. If it is spraddle leg, this must be treated immediately, or the outcome is not good, especially surgery. The use of bands to keep the legs together has been used, but better results seem to be the use of a cup in which a young bird is placed in a cup so that the legs are kept together and basically immobilized until the legs get stronger and grow in tbeir natural position. This may take a few days to a week for the condition to improve. The major point is to have a soft pad under the bird so that it does not rub against the rim of the cup and cause an injury. You might google this procedure to see how it is properly done. We hope this information is of benefit. The Regal Swan

    • This reply was modified 8 months, 4 weeks ago by Swan Expert.
    • This reply was modified 8 months, 4 weeks ago by Swan Expert.
    in reply to: MR #173257
    Swan Expert
    Keymaster

    Hi Edward

    Many people see a swan’s defensive behavior as aggressiveness, which it is not. The swan is in a defensive (protective) mode of its family and sees anyone or anything in his habitat as a threat. The best thing to do is to place a barrier around the family’s nest or immediate habitat. You do not want anything to happen to any member of the swan family by someone chasing or striking out at the birds. Once the cygnets mature, the hormones from the parents will return to normal and they will be less defensive.

    The barrier should be one in which the swan’s can be protected by errant golf balls, and can impede their visual range beyond their immediate area as well as prevent them from accessing outside their normal range. Ensure that the barrier does not impede the family’s access to food or water. This is all normal behavior during the nesting season.

    If the male swan is overly defensive at other times, it means that he has had a bad experience with one of the golfers or another human who may have intentionally mistreated him, etc. If this is the case, then you might want to make a permanent inaccessible barrier/area for the swans so no further interactions with the swans are possible. You should also inform the golfers about the swan family and to avoid interactions when possible. Again, you want to protect people as well as the swans. However, be cognizant that other golf courses and facilities have had intoxicated golfers and guests intentionally harm or kill their swans. All visitors and golfers need to know that any intentional harm to the swan family will be prosecuted heavily by your facility and back your actions if necessary. The Regal Swan

    in reply to: Ramps #172162
    Swan Expert
    Keymaster

    Hi Matt

    Great question. The ramp would need to be away from any hydraulics and in an area that the birds would readily see as a “platform” to exit the water. There are no set rules on the size of the ramp, but it needs to be at least 3 feet in width so the birds do not get injured sliding off the ramp. The slope needs to be in increments, i.e. gradually accessing the bank so it again, is not so steep that the birds slide down. You can make this ramp out of wood or other such material that is not expensive and not abrasive or slippery when wet. If you provide a small platform on the water, with zero entrance to the platform, i.e., the. Birds can readily float onto the platform, they may actually use the plarform as a take-off point from the spillway and possibly not use the ramp. However, not knowing your size issue, we really can’t advise much more than this potential solution. Could you please email us at Bolin.S@att.net and send us several different views of your spillway area? We may be able to offer a reasonable and cost effective solution that will be a practical application for the birds. The Regal Swan

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 2 weeks ago by Swan Expert.
    in reply to: too many swan #170919
    Swan Expert
    Keymaster

    Hi Peter

    Unfortunately, the link to Facebook that you posted is not showing up. It states to go to newsfeed but we are still unable to find the post. So, at this time we cannot answer your question. The Regal Swan

    in reply to: Swan identification tag replacements #166491
    Swan Expert
    Keymaster

    Hi Maura

    We’re not sure where you get the leg band replacements. You might contact the person who gave you the swans. If that is not possible, contact Bob Knox at info@canadiangoosecontrol.com or 847-875-3947. He may have some leg bands or know where to get them. The Regal Swan

    in reply to: Breeder #166470
    Swan Expert
    Keymaster

    Hi Jane

    We work mainly with Bob Knox. He is very reputable and cares deeply about his swans. Additionnaly, he works with swan owners and keepers to ensure that the swans have every chance of positively transitioning to a good home. He does ship swans overseas. His contact number is 847-875-3947. If you want to email: info@canadiangoosecontrol.com

    The Regal Swan

    in reply to: Young swan ‘stuck’ in false preening position #166111
    Swan Expert
    Keymaster

    Hi MJ

    I’m not sure what may be causing this position. It could be a neurological issue. In any case, we urge that the swan be captured and transported to a veterinarian. The Regal Swan

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by Swan Expert.
    Swan Expert
    Keymaster

    Hi David

    Yes, bread- whole or white as long as it is fresh is fine. Bread does not cause angel wing, heart disease, pink feather syndrome or any other negative health effects it has been wrongly associated. Most of this bad information was circulated by wildlife officials, politicians and bird food companies so that the public would stop feeding wildlife or use bird foods. When this stoppage of feeding by the U.K. public occurred, swans began starving. Her Majesty’s Swan Marker, Mr. David Barber, Swan Support, Swan Sanctuary and our organization, The Regal Swan Foundation, began an active “Feed the Bread” campaign. The public began feeding bread and the starvation was mitigated. Swans have now returned to normal weights, although the U.K. is having Avian Flu kill the swans. It is very important to feed the swans as well as other waterfowl to prevent starvation or cause stress from having to search for food during harsh winter weather which renders them susceptible to illness. During Avian Flu outbreaks, supplemental feeding helps the swans stay in their specific areas which may help the birds from picking up the disease in certain areas or transmitting it from their home territory. Year round supplemental feeding using cracked corn, poultry layer pellets and/or bread helps maintain a healthy flock. We hope this information is beneficial. Should you need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us. For immediate assistance, you can contact us at Bolin.S@att.net
    The Regal Swan

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Swan Expert.
    in reply to: Swan family separated #157575
    Swan Expert
    Keymaster

    Hi Carol

    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

    in reply to: parent swans reactions to a dead cygnet #157483
    Swan Expert
    Keymaster

    Hi Nancy

    Do you have predators in or near your pond such as raccoons, coyotes, fox, mink, otters, snapping turtles, alligators, etc., or domestic predators such as dogs. Any of these animals could have killed the cygnet or seriously injured it before it died. Were there any signs of trauma to the cygnet? If this was a predator in your pond, it would be a good reason for the swans to escape to the neighboring pond and not want to return to your pond. Could a human have chased or carried the swans to the other pond?

    If the swans had to walk to the neighboring pond, they may have been attacked while crossing and know it is safer to stay in the water.

    Another consideration would be that you live in a state where wildlife officials or their solicited volunteers go into lakes and ponds and kill the Mute swans. They have been doing this for decades under the permission of federal, state and local lawmakers in order to introduce the larger Trumpeter swans for Trophy waterfowl hunting (all at taxpayer expense). If this is the case, soon your swans may be eradicated.

    Did something change in your pond? Was there construction in or near your pond? Was there an algae outbreak, lowering of water, or other disturbance that could affect water quality or food resources?

    We know we are asking more questions than providing you answers, but the cause for the swans to leave must be addressed before the potential for the swans to return is considered. If something has changed or a predator is present, the swans will only return when they feel they are safe once again. The Regal Swan

    in reply to: Swan female moving twigs in the water in July #156690
    Swan Expert
    Keymaster

    Hi Chris

    You are very welcome. Yes, swans have such calming effects. Enjoy! The Regal Swan

    in reply to: Swan female moving twigs in the water in July #156653
    Swan Expert
    Keymaster

    Hi Chris

    Great question. The female swan is exhibiting normal swan behavior. Swans will tidy their environment. We have seen swans completely remove dead debris from a hedge of bushes. This cleaning not only keeps the area free from debris, but gives the swans something to occupy their time. The Regal Swan

    in reply to: Central Florida cygnet/swan sanctuary? #156032
    Swan Expert
    Keymaster

    Hi Andrew

    Since you have reached out to us on our email, I will be contacting you shortly. There is not enough space on this forum to address all of the issues. I look forward to speaking to you. The Regal Swan

    in reply to: Mating for life #155115
    Swan Expert
    Keymaster

    Hi Courtney

    The contention that swans mate for life is general knowledge that has been known throughout history. It is also known that there are some individual anomalies that have and do occur such as having 2 mates at the same time and/or abandoning a mate. There are several reasons that could explain this atypical behavior such as predators, some disturbance in the area that might have scared a mate away, too very young swans or one of the swans is not suitable (infertile) for mating. Nature works to ensure propagation of a species and is the reason that species members look to the healthiest and strongest members to mate and carry on the lineage.

    As far as mates, if the male mate dies, the female swan will usually re-pair with another male, but this is an individual attribute. If a female mate dies, the male swan will usually not re-pair, again an individual attribute. All of this also depends on how long the mates were bonded.

    If no opposite gender swans are available, young male swans raised together will bond with each other, attempt to mate and will nest. Obviously, no eggs will be produced.

    If no opposite gender swans are available, female swans raised together will bond, attempt to mate and will nest. Eggs will be produced, but will obviously be infertile. We hope this information is of benefit. The Regal Swan

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 99 total)