Ask the Swan Specialist
Date: 18 February 2017
We moved into an apartment on a 5 acre manmade lake a week ago and I was welcomed by a mute swan. I called to him and he swam over and climbed out of the water and walked over to greet me.
I was told there used to be other swans, but he has been here alone for many years now. I assume he is a male, he is very large, his wingspan is about 8 feet and the knob on his orange bill is very pronounced. There are a few dozen geese and a heron on the lake.
The first time he came up to greet me, my husband ran inside and got corn chips. The next few days I gave him bread. He prefers to eat the bread and chips from my hand. When I drop it on the ground, he reaches out to me to get another chip or bit of bread in my hand. He is pretty gentle as far as birds go, not snapping hard.
Whenever I come outside he quickly swims over. I don't feed him every time. By the third day, I started to throw the snacks to him while he is still in the water. He has huge feet, about 8 inches across, that point toward each other and he seems slow and awkward. I don't want him to possibly injure himself as the lake is ringed with rip-rap stone. Am I not to worry about him climbing out and walking?
Mid-visit he usually points his bill up to the sky and makes a loud growling sound. I was afraid he was bellowing for more and might start to attack, but he has not show any aggression. I was happy to read your description that it is a sign of delight!
I have since read carbs are unhealthy for him so I got lettuce and corn. I won't feed him every day because I don't want to spoil his appetite for the food he naturally needs to eat.
We are on a 5-acre manmade lake. Yesterday we took a walk around, through the woods, and then into a clearing on the far side of the lake. We stopped and were talking and it wasn't a minute before we noticed him swimming quickly towards the middle of the lake. He then circled the perimeter of the fountain and came straight towards me. I was wearing grey and navy. I am wondering did he hear me, or see me?
P.S. I named him Stanley (before I found your website!) It seemed to fit with his S shape.
Messages In This Thread
- Stanley our new swan neighbor: the lake is ringed with rip-rap stone and we worry that he might injure himself when climbing out and walking towards us -- Dana -- 18 February 2017
- Re: Stanley our new swan neighbor: the lake is ringed with rip-rap stone and we worry that he might -- The Regal Swan -- 19 February 2017