Ask the Swan Specialist
Date: 19 November 2015
The two most critical questions are: Is it a wild or captive swan? Can it fly?
If it is a captive raised swan, no it will not fare well in the wild. It needs to be caught and taken back to the neighbors and placed indoors for the winter. If the winter is severe, the swan may not make it as it cannot find food, water and shelter especially if the pond freezes. Additionally, predators can walk across the frozen ice and kill the young swan.
If it is a wild swan, it still may not be able to survive the winter months if it is still too young to fend for itself or know how to migrate.
If you can coax it with food and try to get it to come on land and in an area that you can keep it from going back into the water (corner of a house, etc.), you may be able to capture it more easily. But, food and trust is going to be your best bet and you will only get one chance as that trust will be lost if you are not quick enough to capture.
Another way is to get a couple of kayaks and herd the bird onto land into a pen, barn, side of a house, shrubs, etc. so that it cannot escape. Once on land and it cannot fly or run, (why you need a very compact area to herd the bird) it will be easier to affect a capture.
We are not sure where you are located in Wisconsin, but there is a gentleman that might be able to help. You can contact Bob Knox at (847) 875-3947. Please let us know how this scenario progresses. The Regal Swan