Ask the Swan Specialist

After a swan's mate dies
Date: 9 July 2014

Hello. I have just witnessed one of the saddest things ever. A mute swan's mate was lying dead at the water's edge - I don't know how it happened but am doing what I can to find out - and it's mate, the male, I think, sat atop it pulling at its feathers, its beak, its neck and wings trying to revive it. Then it would enter the water, swim out a few feet and turnaround and swim toward its dead mate in a busking posture. This behavior was repeated for at least an hour (I don't know how long it was happening before I became privy to it). Now that the tide is out, the male has swum to a different part of the same beach, within in view of its dead mate, and is preening. Is this normal mute swan behavior?

Just this morning (maybe 4 or 5 hours before) I had seen a male and female with six cygnets feeding on horseshoe crab eggs on the same beach. I hope these are not the parents. Cygnets are nowhere to be seen.

Messages In This Thread

After a swan's mate dies -- John -- 9 July 2014
Re: After a swan's mate dies -- The Regal Swan -- 9 July 2014