Ask the Swan Specialist

Re: How and where to build a swan nest
By:The Regal Swan
Date: 14 February 2017
In Response To: How and where to build a swan nest (Justin)

Hi Justin:

The swans usually will not use a nest built by a human. You can provide the straw and drop it in the area that you want them to nest, but there are no guarantees, so you might want to drop straw in several areas. You just need to ensure that the nesting area is free from flooding, steep banks and predators.

Yes, it is safer to have the nest in the middle of the lake/pond, but this is going to require a nesting box which you can purchase at Knox Swans and Dogs. Again, there is no guarantee that the swans will use this nesting box as this is also an individual preference.

If the swans cannot nest in a safe area, you may need to bring them in for the nesting period in a barn, stall, etc., that is completely enclosed so no predators can attack the family, adequately ventilated with no drafts and no areas that raccoons or other predators can access. You will need to keep a flat dish changed daily and filled with poultry layer pellets, cracked corn and lettuce. The food and water must be changed regularly and checked to ensure that no pests such as rats and ants can get into the nest.

The problem with this setup is that it is labor intensive and if you do not know how to care for the family which needs to stay in the indoor stall until warmer weather and the cygnets are at least 2 weeks of age, the cygnets can die from disease and the parents can also become sick.

So, the best advice would be to find an area along the bank free from predators or possibly fenced off top to bottom so that the family can readily escape into the pond and place straw in that area. Again, there are no guarantees that where you drop the straw, it will be chosen by the swans to nest. The Regal Swan

Messages In This Thread

How and where to build a swan nest -- Justin -- 14 February 2017
Re: How and where to build a swan nest -- The Regal Swan -- 14 February 2017