Ask the Swan Specialist

Re: Aggressive mute swan
By:The Regal Swan
Date: 9 February 2016
In Response To: Aggressive mute swan (Sheryl)

Hi Sheryl:

Out of curiosity, what color is the swan's bill?

In any case, what you have is an older swan that is acting like a swan, but has carried it a little too far. During nesting season, hormone levels wreck havoc and swans, especially males will become defensive (not aggressive) toward protecting their nests and habitat.

Now, he/she has taken it to another level because of two issues. One, the swan had something happen to him that either scared him (car/person/something got too close) and he has a good memory and is defending his area no matter what so that he avoids the unpleasant occurrence.

Second, because you all have recoiled from his behavior and did not correct him when it started, he now thinks he is king of the pond.

Time for you take back the pond. You and someone else will need to work together. Go to the fence and wait for him to cross under. As soon as he sticks his head under the fence, grab him, but immediately hold his wings so he does not flail and hurt himself hitting the wings. If you are afraid that he may get hurt, go onto the other side of the fence and wait for him to get to you. Immediately, place a towel/blanket or net over his head as he gets close. Hold his wings and then gently hold his legs and carry him inside into a garage/shed/bathroom (small confined area that he cannot hurt himself. Continue holding him and his wings/neck for approximately 30 minutes talking to him and letting him know that everything is fine, but he is not going to continue his behavior.

After 30 minutes, carry him back outside and release him onto the other side of the fence. Have your net and towel/blanket ready. If he comes back towards you, repeat the process. Just control the wings so that he does not get hurt and he can't hurt you. About 2-3 times of going into time out, he is not going to want anything to do with you or anyone else thinking that he is going to get caught. After he relents and doesn't want anything to do with you, make sure when you work around the inside of the fence or his area, carry the towel and net. If he sees you with the towel/blanket (wave it at him so that you are the bigger swan) or wave the net. He will get quiet real quick as he does not want to get caught and go inside.

DO not get him another swan as this will cause you more problems since he is an older swan he/she may or may not accept the new swan. You just need to be extremely assertive that you own the pond, he does not. Once you reestablish that you are the Owner of the pond and he is not, both of you will be able to enjoy each other. Please let us know how this works out. The Regal Swan

Messages In This Thread

Aggressive mute swan -- Sheryl -- 9 February 2016
Re: Aggressive mute swan -- The Regal Swan -- 9 February 2016