Ask the Swan Specialist

Re: Swans mad at each other
By:The Regal Swan
Date: 16 December 2017
In Response To: Swans mad at each other (Michael)

Hi Michael

Were there any changes to the habitat which may have disturbed or scared the swans, i.e., mowing, planting, noise, construction etc., in the area? Were there any predators in the area at night especially, such as dogs, cats, raccoons, etc.?

If there was no disturbance, then more than likely, you have 2 male swans which are now becoming of age, their testosterone levels are high and one is displaying as the alpha male. This is normal behavior and will continue throughout their lives. However, you need to try and minimalize the level of aggressiveness.

You need to capture both swans and place them in a confined setting such as a bathroom or shed. Ensure the surface is non-slick and non-abrasive and the enclosure cannot be accessed by predators. If you can place them in something small like a bathroom with sheets on the floor, not newspapers, you will be able to watch for any signs of aggression and intervene. The swans need to stay in the enclosure for at least 3 days. You will need to thoroughly soak them with water on a daily basis to ensure that they preen and remain water repellent while they are in the enclosed effort. Do not provide them any water feature to swim while in the enclosure, only a shower once daily.

The purpose of bringing them indoors is two-fold. You have taken away the habitat so no swan can declare themselves as king of the mountain. Indoors, they have to deal with you entering, exiting the enclosure, changing food and watering. Swans do not like this close interaction and will take an all for one and one for all attitude which means they learn to work and reside together again. Everytime you see one chasing another to the point that one refuses to enter the water, repeat this indoor session.

If the sessions do not significantly control the high level of aggression (remember minor skirmishes are normal as long as there are no injuries), then you may need to find a home for the other swan or net the habitat in half so the swans can have their own area. You will not be able to get another male swan or even a female swan will not work intl this setting as the one swan will not allow any swan inthe his habitat.

We have had several pairs of 2 male swan siblings that have had minor skirmishes, and we had to use the indoor time-out, but all lived together for more than 20 years with no major problems. The Regal Swan

Messages In This Thread

Swans mad at each other -- Michael -- 16 December 2017
Re: Swans mad at each other -- The Regal Swan -- 16 December 2017