Ask the Swan Specialist

Re: Moving swans nest & feeding site
By:The Regal Swan
Date: 5 August 2015
In Response To: Moving swans nest & feeding site (Carol)

Hi Carol:

Yes, you can get them to move their nest and feeding areas, but it is going to take some time and effort on your or whomever is going to care for the swans in the future.

First, if the current caretaker is able, have him feed the swans with the new caretaker. Feed them for a couple of days so they know that the new caretaker is not going to harm them. Then, if possible, have the current caretaker and the new caretaker go to the area that the new nesting and feeding site will be located. Call the swans to this area and begin feeding them in this area for a couple of days. If they will not come to the area, you may have to have both caretakers start at the initial site, bring a bucket of food and walk along the bank chumming food and calling the swans so they will follow to the new site. Then, empty the bucket at the new site. Next feeding, go to the new site and call the swans.

After a couple of days, they will get used to the new feeding site. Then, with the current caretaker present, have the new caretaker call the swans. Each time that the swans are fed, the new caretaker will be the one that calls and feeds the birds. Then, when the birds are consistently appearing when called and being fed, the current caretaker can leave and from now on, the new caretaker can care for the swans on his/her own.

This is not to say that the current caretaker can't visit now and then. This separation may be hard on him as well as the swans, so a short visit now and then if possible, will not cause any harm.

When nesting season begins, bring in straw at the time of the feeding. Place the straw near the feeding area similar to the area that they are now nesting. They still may try to go back to the old nesting site, but keep calling them and if they go to the old nesting site, destroy it, and remove nesting material so that they have to go to the new site. Even then, they may still try to nest in the current site. If this is okay with everyone, then, you can leave them alone and not worry about relocating, If this is an issue, then you will have to get the birds to like the new site and stay in that area. Just ensure that there are no domestic or wild predators, dogs, cats, people, raccoons, foxes, bears, etc. that can disrupt their nests.

Also, you may need to provide some semblance of shelter from inclement weather, with shade from sun and wind, etc. Just try to make it as similar as possible to the current site. Please let us know how this works out. The Regal Swan

Messages In This Thread

Moving swans nest & feeding site -- Carol -- 5 August 2015
Re: Moving swans nest & feeding site -- The Regal Swan -- 5 August 2015