Ask the Swan Specialist

Re: Wandering swan
By:The Regal Swan
Date: 27 June 2015
In Response To: Wandering swan (JM)


The problem is that the new swan is not being accepted by the original swan and is being chased from the area.

There are two problems. One, you may have introduced a swan of the same gender and this is not going to work, especially if they are males. You need to have an avian (bird)/waterfowl veterinarian sex the birds. The most reliable source is the use of DNA sequencing in which a feather is plucked from the birds. The feather must have a little blood on the end in order to test. This will provide you with the accurate gender of each swan. Additionally, if they are opposite gender (male and female) or same (female) , they still may or may not re-pair. The original swan will be just fine living alone.

The second problem is in the way the new swan may have been introduced into the new swan. If it was just placed in the habitat, it did not have time to understand that this is the new home, understand the feeding system or get properly introduced to you or the original swan and vice versa. If the swan is allowed to wander, it will get killed by a predator or hit by a car.

After having it sexed to determine if you have two males (which is not going to work in this case), then you will need to find him another home or return it to the original owner. If you have two females or a male/female, then it might work, but only with some additional time on your part.

You will need to build a pen (1/2 in water and 1/2 on bank with feeder inside). The pen needs a zero entrance with no steep/rocky substrate to injure its foot or legs.

The pen needs to be completely enclosed top to bottom so that no predator can dig under the pen or climb over and into the pen to access the swan. Place poultry fending from the bottom rail of the pen up to 4 feet so that raccoons cannot reach through and grab the swan. Keep the swan in the pen for approximately 2 weeks. Observe the original swan's demeanor around the new swan. If there is any sign of aggression, then this situation is not going to work and the new swan will need to be found a new home. If there are no signs of aggression, then you can release the new swan onto the pond and see if the wandering is cured. If not, then you still may need to find the swan a new home or return it to the person that you got the swan.

At this point in time, the new swan is not only being chased by the original swan, but because it does not recognize its new surroundings and may be looking for its original home, especially if it had siblings or was beginning to form a bond with a swan in its original setting.

Should you have to return the new swan back to its original owner or find it another home, that is okay. Your original swan will do just fine on its own. We hope this information is of benefit. The Regal Swan

Messages In This Thread

Wandering swan -- JM -- 27 June 2015
Re: Wandering swan -- The Regal Swan -- 27 June 2015