Ask the Swan Specialist

Re: Missing mate
By:The Regal Swan
Date: 12 July 2016
In Response To: Missing mate (Debbie)

Hi Debbie:

There is always the chance that he was out flying and will come back. However, there are some other possibilities here.

1. Are you absolutely sure that the swan you are seeing is the female? It is possible that this is the male and he is visiting as the female may be sitting on a nest in another nearby wetland habitat. The cygnets may be too little to travel to your area at this time. If the female began laying eggs prior to nest building, the pair may have had to hurriedly build a nest and that is where the nesting began. This would explain the short visits with you, he is in a hurry to get back to the nest and the family.

2. If it is the female, there is still a chance that the male will return, but this is not a normal situation if there are no cygnets. There is a possibility that he may have been injured, attacked by a predator or shot. Many states will kill Mute Swans in order to open the habitat to introduce the larger Trumpeter Swans for Trophy waterfowl hunting purposes. Let's hope that none of the above occurred.

3. Are you absolutely sure that this is the same swan pair? If, during the migration season, your pair found another nesting site and this new pair found you, and they are used to having people feed them, then this might be the reason that the male is not present. He may be a young juvenile that was scared and left or was chased by another swan, possibly your older pair. So, there is not real way to know what occurred. Please let us know if he returns. The Regal Swan

Messages In This Thread

Missing mate -- Debbie -- 12 July 2016
Re: Missing mate -- The Regal Swan -- 12 July 2016