Ask the Swan Specialist
Date: 19 January 2016
Birds that hatch from the egg with very little feathers, eyes closed and must rely on the mother bird for feeding and care until they are a few days or even weeks old are called altricial. Birds that hatch from the egg with their eyes open, some downy feathers and can depart the nest without the parent's assistance are called precocial.
Swans are precocial birds in that once they have left the nest after hatching (usually 24 hours) they can enter and exit the nest and water without any help from the parents.
Furthermore, within that 24 hours the cygnets immediately begin feeding on their own. The parent swans are there for one major important reason: protection. The cygnets (baby swans) can ride on the mother swan's back for protection and rest. The parents protect the cygnets from predators and teach them about their habitat. As far as feeding, the swan parents will lead the cygnets to an area, show them how and where to feed and will in many cases, stir up vegetation from the bottom of the pond so that the cygnets can reach the food. The Regal Swan
Messages In This Thread
- How Do Swans Feed Their Young? -- Brinabella -- 19 January 2016
- Re: How Do Swans Feed Their Young? -- The Regal Swan -- 19 January 2016