Ask the Swan Specialist

Re: Father swan is chasing son who does not fly away
By:The Regal Swan
Date: 28 March 2015

Hi Jon & Kate

If he lasted the first year without the male trying to hurt him, he should be okay. This is not to say that this could not happen in the future, but once the breeding season ends, the testosterone levels should level and everything go back to normal as long as the juvenile does not get too close to any cygnets that might hatch this year. In this case, the juvenile could kill the cygnets because the older brother/sister does not want to be bothered.

Are you absolutely sure that the odd man out is a male? If it is a female, then the chasing will not be as pronounced.

The major issue is that the young bird does not get stressed by not being able to stay in or near the pond (feed and drink), thus getting sick. If the young swan becomes not only stressed, but so scared that it tries to leave the pond area, it could be killed by predators (both domesticated and wild). So, this chasing could lead to more detrimental problems if it does not level off.

If the swans are maintained by an association (i.e., captive), then the young swan is probably pinioned (unable to fly). This is a legal requirement in most states so that feral (wild) swan populations cannot occur. If it is pinioned and cannot fly, then you may need to find the young swan another good home if more cygnets are hatched, even then, they will also need to have another home. If no cygnets survive, then the older juvenile should do just fine in this habitat as long as it can handle the chasing during breeding seasons. The Regal Swan

Messages In This Thread

Father swan is chasing son who does not fly away -- Jon & Kate -- 27 March 2015
Re: Father swan is chasing son who does not fly away -- The Regal Swan -- 28 March 2015