Ask the Swan Specialist

Re: Feeding kid swan by its mother
By:The Regal Swan
Date: 17 September 2014
In Response To: Feeding kid swan by its mother (Ramya)

Hi Ramya

Birds fall into two basic groups-precocial (hatched with feathers and basically able to leave the nest within a few days) or altricial (hatched with no feathers, unable to leave the nest for several weeks and totally dependent upon the parent birds).

Cygnets (baby swans) fall into the category of precocial. Within 24 hours of hatching the mother swan (pen) takes the cygnets from the nest and into the water for their first swim, bath and feeding. The cygnets feed themselves and do not need the mother swan to feed them, (i.e. forage or hunt for food and regurgitate like some birds such as hawks, songbirds, etc.) So, the cygnets need the parents to learn where to look for food, what to eat and how to act like a swan. The mother parent may use her long neck to reach aquatic vegetation (swans are grazing birds), to tear the grasses and use her feet to kick the vegetation onto the surface of the water so the cygnets can eat it. But, basically the cygnets feed themselves and the parents protect the young from predators and teach them how to be a swan. If you search the internet, you may find a photo of the young swans eating by themselves. The Regal Swan

Messages In This Thread

Feeding kid swan by its mother -- Ramya -- 17 September 2014
Re: Feeding kid swan by its mother -- The Regal Swan -- 17 September 2014