Ask the Swan Specialist

Re: Cygnet away from its parents during a week
By:The Regal Swan
Date: 24 July 2013
In Response To: Cygnet away from its parents during a week (Katharine)

Hi Kate:

Be extremely careful and have a boat ready to help with any intervention that may be required. There are several things that may occur.

1. The parents take to the bird immediately, no problem.

2. The parents immediately show aggressive behavior, especially the male and try to fling the young bird by its neck.

3. Everything looks good, but in a couple of days, aggressive behavior begins.

So, you will not be out of the woods for approximately 1 week. Normally, swans and other birds will not take their young back once they have been separated for more than a couple of hours. But, this rule totally depends on the individual parents.

The best way to introduce the swans is to carry the cygnet near the water, place it on the ground in a open type container, such as baby pen, etc. If this is not available, hold the cygnet firmly and carefully near the parents. Let the swans see and hear the cygnet. If the parents totally ignore the cygnet, then you have your answer and will need to find the cygnet a good home in a waterfowl/wildlife rehabilitation center or other type of secure, safe closely watched habitat. If the parents do not accept the cygnet, it will need to be watched and monitored closely in a secure setting to protect it from predators and other hazards. It may have to be raised by humans which is not the best situation due to the fact that humans cannot teach the young bird how to be a swan which can provide detrimental results later.

If the parents hear the young bird and immediately try to get to it, then walk back from the water's edge and allow the parents to get out of the water and come toward the cygnet. Place the cygnet on the ground and allow the family to reunite. Watch closely the behavior of the family to ensure that there are no signs of aggression. Good luck and let us know how this progresses. The Regal Swan

Messages In This Thread

Cygnet away from its parents during a week -- Katharine -- 24 July 2013
Re: Cygnet away from its parents during a week -- The Regal Swan -- 24 July 2013