Ask the Swan Specialist

Re: One swan parent killed
By:The Regal Swan
Date: 6 June 2016
In Response To: One swan parent killed (Inge)

Hi Inge:

We are sorry for your loss. Although the male and the cygnets may have experienced a small period of grief, nature does not allow them to grieve for any extended period of time such as found in humans. Nature cannot allow extended grieving because the future of the flock depends on the animals/birds going about their business, feeding, learning how to be a particular member of the flock/herd as well as how to interact with the flock. Life is much more important than death. It was actually better that the family saw what occurred with the mother so that they do not spend time looking for her. In nature's mind, it is over, now time for going about the business of living and perpetuating the flock.

Most male swans will usually not re-pair with another mate when they lose their female mates. However, this is a norm, but individual species and swans certainly can change this "standard".

As far as the cygnets, the male will look after then swans and keep them safe from predators. Even though the male swan does not incubate the eggs (again a species and individual attribute), he is still responsible for the safety and protection of the family. So, the young cygnets should do fine under his care and he will also teach them how to be swans.

When the male swan as any swan parent (male or female) recognizes that the cygnets are old and big enough to protect themselves, feed, fly and act as a swan, he will allow the young swans to hang out together and may not remain as close by as he would younger and smaller offspring. However, he will still keep an eye on them and chase potential habitat intruders and predators from their area. Once they are 8-10 months of age, he will begin chasing the young birds in order to make them leave his habitat and force them to go find their own lifetime habitat and mate. If this male swan is like any other parent, he will look after the cygnets. The Regal Swan

Messages In This Thread

One swan parent killed -- Inge -- 6 June 2016
Re: One swan parent killed -- The Regal Swan -- 6 June 2016