Ask the Swan Specialist

Re: Will parents take babies back after wing clipping?
By:The Regal Swan
Date: 2 June 2014

Hi Sherri:

As long as you get the cygnets back to the parents in a timely manner- 2-4 hours, the parents will take them back. We have had some extreme cases where parents have taken the cygnets back overnight, but we would not suggest trying this because it is totally contingent upon the individual attributes of the parents. If the parent swans have never had a brood, are poor parents because they don’t know how to take care of young birds, then they may not accept the cygnets back after having been gone for an extended period of time. This means, that you will need to raise the swans or try to find a good home (wildlife rehabilitation center or farm) in which the young birds can stay around other waterfowl.

A good way to ensure that the parents take the cygnets back is to try and capture one of the parents, preferably, the mother, but either parent will work. However, transporting a large parent swan with the cygnets may not be something that the veterinarian wants to deal with once in the veterinary clinic. Another alternative is to have the veterinarian come to your site, capture and hold the cygnets in the area of the parents so that the parents can see and hear the young birds. Once the procedure has been completed, everything is okay, i.e., no bleeding and sutures are intact, then the young birds can be released back to the parents. You must release ALL of the cygnets at once, because if you release them one by one, the parents may take off with the first few and abandon the rest. The Regal Swan

Messages In This Thread

Will parents take babies back after wing clipping? -- Sherri -- 2 June 2014
Re: Will parents take babies back after wing clipping? -- The Regal Swan -- 2 June 2014