Ask the Swan Specialist

Re: Broken wing?
By:The Regal Swan
Date: 4 December 2013
In Response To: Broken wing? (B.)

Hi B.

Actually, the wing is not broken. This is a condition known as "angel wing", "backwards or slipped wing".

The condition may be genetic, but most researchers believe it is caused by too much protein in the diet. This occurs when a young swan or other waterfowl is fed too much protein in its diet which causes the wings to grow too fast and the musculature cannot support the oversized wings. The wings then grow backward or slip from their support.

The swan will not be able to fly, but because most of the swans in the U.K. are supplementally fed bread and other food by the general public, it should be fine and not need to fly unless its portion of the river freezes during the winter. Because it cannot fly, the bird will not be able to escape freezing temperatures, frozen ponds and may starve, drown or be taken by a predator that can walk onto the ice.

If there is a concern about any of these scenarios, then please contact Wendy Hermon, Swan Lifeline in Eton. (
or Telephone: 01753 859 397 She may be able rescue the swan or advise someone in your area that might be able to help. The Regal Swan

Messages In This Thread

Broken wing? -- B. -- 4 December 2013
Re: Broken wing? -- The Regal Swan -- 4 December 2013
Re: Broken wing? -- B. -- 5 December 2013
Re: Broken wing? -- The Regal Swan -- 5 December 2013