Ask the Swan Specialist

Properly caring for a scared swan
Date: 20 September 2017

I bought a new house in March that came with a pond and a swan. At the time he was pretty irritable generally and would bite at anyone who came near him or his feeding bowl.

In June, we noticed that he had an eye injury that was hurting him badly, to the point that he came up to me without biting, I think in hope that I could help him. My husband tried to catch him with a net and he became terrified and wouldn't come back to his food for two days, at which point we finally caught him.

I found an avian specialist nearby who was finally able to see him and we determined that he was probably attacked by a heron. They nursed him back to health, and then I kept him in an enclosed area with a small kiddie pool for a few weeks while applying antibiotic to his eye. We introduced him back to the pond at the beginning of August. His spirits improved drastically and he seemed genuinely happy to be back in his pond.

Then the heron came back one week and the swan lost a number of feathers and became afraid again.

He's still terrified of my husband and will flee to the other side of the pond when he sees him. He comes to me for fresh lettuce, but is still obviously sadder than he was when first introduced back into the pond. He spends a lot of time picking at the fence, I think in hopes of escaping.

Now it's getting colder and I'm worried about him. The ponds here don't typically freeze, but I want to make sure I'm doing everything I can to make the poor guy happy. He used to be such a confident swan, and now he just seems depressed.

Do you have any advice?

Messages In This Thread

Properly caring for a scared swan -- Emilie -- 20 September 2017
Re: Properly caring for a scared swan -- The Regal Swan -- 21 September 2017