12 swans a swimming!
Through out the winter we get quite a few swans that have either lost their partners or juveniles being chased off lakes or rivers by their parents. This is because the parents will soon be mating and getting ready to brood their new family. These graceful birds are a protected species and can live up to 15 years of age. They eat aquatic plants, and small insects but also grass. It does take them some time on land and on water to take off but once in flight they are able to fly at 60 mph.
They are rarely predated by foxes but are still being poisoned by lead which was very much part of fishing being used as weights for the line. It is now illegal to use lead but there is still a lot of lead in the mud which swans ingest when dabbling looking for food. This is usually obvious to us if they are admitted to our centre as the swan will be unable to fully extend its neck and it can, with medical attention overcome the problem, if it isn’t too severe.
Sadly, swans are prone to flying into electric power lines and sometimes you will see coloured balls attached to the lines on the pylons. This where the pylons have been identified as being in the flight path of swans. These attachments make the wires more visible.
We have a large waterfowl paddock where adult and juvenile swans will recuperate and at this time of year, once they have gained condition, we will take them down on to the moors where you can often see groups of swans – sometimes as many as 30 or 40, all foraging together. They soon join the group. Ready for the breeding season ahead of them
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