Ask the Swan Specialist

In Response To: Re: Help with elderly mute swan in Ohio
Date: 23 February 2014

Hello! I wanted to send a quick update on Big Bird. After she flew away she spent a couple of weeks in the steas (there were sightings of a lone mute swan) and then returned for good to the sanctuary. Beauty, as they call her, is still there and a star attraction.

A bit later I have found a Canada goose with a broken wing in a pond close to my workplace. I asked for your advice in a different post and just as all the other geese had left, the pond froze over and the polar vortex was approaching, I managed to catch the half-frozen goose, take it to the sanctuary and have it seen by a vet. At that time I went to see Big Bird and we had a 'conversation' while she stayed in the water. After a week with antibiotic ointment and a bandage/ wrap, the goose was released to the same area as the swan. The Canada geese that had been visiting the sanctuary during the day were all gone by this time, but they left behind one bird with a broken wing. Nobody knew how she got there or if she was injured on the premises.

The two geese bonded immediately and became inseparable, which was great, especially since the rescued goose had been marginalized and chased away by its own flock. Out of all the other birds on the premises, they befriended the only other wild bird, the swan and started hanging around together. I will be posting next a few funny pictures of the 'three musketeers' :-))).

Also, I was wondering if they need any supplements to their feed. They eat the same flock and waterfowl food as the domestic birds (i don't know what it is, other than it includes floating waterfowl feed, but i don't know in what proportion). I also don't know whether there are crustaceans and much vegetation in the pond. There is grass too, but not the huge spaces wild geese graze on. I have read what you recommend as emmergency feed for swans. Can you please advice what they are fed in the swanneries, if that is a different mix.

Thank you very much again for all your help and advice for rescuing the birds!