Ask the Swan Specialist

Re: 3 month old cygnet under mother
By:The Regal Swan
Date: 30 July 2016
In Response To: 3 month old cygnet under mother (KathY)

Hi Kathy:

Cygnets are still babies until at least 6 months of age. The cygnet you are describing may have been the runt and is still developing, even though it may look big and be 3 months of age.

If the cygnet did not waterproof its feathers properly (using the oil from its uropygial (preen) gland), it may have been floundering in the water and would have drowned had the mother not tucked it under her wings. Additionally, if there was a predator (turtle, mink, otter, etc.), in the area, the mother would quickly protect the cygnet by placing it under her wings. Give it a couple more weeks, and the mother will discourage the larger cygnet on her back as the larger sized cygnet will have less predators than a smaller one. The Regal Swan

Messages In This Thread

3 month old cygnet under mother -- KathY -- 29 July 2016
Re: 3 month old cygnet under mother -- The Regal Swan -- 30 July 2016