Ask the Swan Specialist
Date: 27 December 2014
We're not sure who to call or if there needs to be anything done. Here is the problem.
You have probably been hearing about the fight in New York to save the Mute Swans. The reasoning behind the killing of the Mute Swans is that the NY, NJ, Michigan, and other DEC's have perpetuated a story about the Mute Swans being non-native and invasive. These misrepresentations are causing the species to be killed across the U.S. in the millions.
The reasoning behind the killings is to introduce the larger Trumpeter Swan, the one possibly in your pond, so that they can be hunted as a Trophy Waterfowl to increase and maintain wildlife budgets wildlife agencies.
So, to call anyone about this swan may cost it its life no matter what you do. Does the pond usually freeze during the winter? If so, then you may have a problem as the swan can die from exposure, pneumonia, drowning, freezing, dehydration, starvation or killed by a predator that can access the pond.
If the pond does freeze, then you might have to call someone. We would suggest that you contact a local wildlife rehabilitation center that does not kill any wildlife, including any swan. They may be able to advise you.
If the pond stays unfrozen, then you should not have a problem. You may have to supplementally feed the swan by providing cracked corn and poultry layer pellets thrown into the pond away from the bank so that you do not attract predators.
Another issue is that this may not be a Trumpeter Swan. It may be a Tundra Swan as this species also has a black bill. You need to look around the eye and see if you see the color yellow. This is the lore (yellow space) between the bill and the eye and would be the identification point for the Tundra Swan. Tundra Swans can also be hunted.
Before you can render a capture of these two species, they are federally protected and you may need a license to intervene which is why it would be better to contact someone with a wildlife rehabilitation permit or just leave the swan alone and see if it might fly. More than likely, it is a young swan that was on its way on the migratory path and got blown off course or lost. It will get its wits about it and then proceed on in the next few days if this is the case.
We hope this information is of benefit. But, right now, contacting any state wildlife agency, including the NY DEC could be detrimental to any swan. The Regal Swan