Ask the Swan Specialist

Weak Cygnet Shunned by parents
Date: 18 August 2014

The breeding pair on our lake had a six cygnets that are pretty big now, but recently one died and another is shunned by the family. The cygnet is able to walk up and into our backyard and seems to be able to enter the water and swim fine, but it is smaller than rest. It also has issues starting its movement when on land, and seems to struggle with staying balanced or walking for longer distances. Its legs becomes shakey at the knees after prolonged movement.

It always seemed to be a loner, but today was the first time my family and I saw the parents attempt to chase it off the yard. At my mothers request, my father and I intervened and gave the weak cygnet some wet bread. It seems to be comfortable with me being close to it, and allowed us to herd the rest of the family away without complaint.

As is, my family would like to relocate the cygnet if possible and help it in any way we can. We have never lost cygnets at this age before, let alone the possibility of losing two in quick succession.

If the left alone on the lake, how far will the parents take their aggression? We've never seen the mating pair show any aggression toward their offspring before so this is a new experience for all of us.

Messages In This Thread

Weak Cygnet Shunned by parents -- George -- 18 August 2014
Re: Weak Cygnet Shunned by parents -- The Regal Swan -- 18 August 2014