Ask the Swan Specialist

Re: Male swan aggresive to female
By:The Regal Swan
Date: 6 April 2015
In Response To: Male swan aggresive to female (Elaine)

Hi Elaine:

There are several reasons for the behavior you have observed. The swan that you may be observing may not be a female. Swans of the same gender will pair up and even mate if there is no opposite gendered swan. And, yes they will chase each other.

Another plausible reason is that the swan being chased may not have been the mate, but another male getting into the territory while the female is sitting on a nest. We have seen pairs get into disputes just like any other married couple. After chasing the geese, the male may have just been in a bad mood and he did not want anyone in his territory for the moment.

If you notice, he did not try to hurt the other swan, just chased. If he had wanted to hurt or kill the other swan, then, just like any other wildlife, this could have happened. He was showing more dominance, just like all other wildlife, there is a hierarchy among flocks and herds. Because the swan did not kill the other bird, it means that there was a little snit whether or not this was the mate. If it was the mate, then the behavior should have calmed within an hour or less.

We call this defensive behavior and not aggressive. Aggression has been unfairly used to label swans, but they are no more aggressive than any other species of waterfowl or wildlife when protecting their territory. The sex hormones are extremely high during the mating season for all waterfowl/wildlife, so chasing and other such defensive behavior is normal. The Regal Swan

Messages In This Thread

Male swan aggresive to female -- Elaine -- 6 April 2015
Re: Male swan aggresive to female -- The Regal Swan -- 6 April 2015