Mute Swan head shaking, beak clicking and neck stretching.

A male mute swan on a local lake has recently started doing all these things since his cygnets hatched recently. He does this mostly when near the edge of the lake and less so when far from the shore. Have seen him do this in previous years but to a much lesser degree. Sjould I be worried?
  • Don't really know Judy, could it be a protective thing, maybe if people are near to the young.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • In reply to Catlady:

    The way I have seen them expressing aggression (usually towards people or animals approaching their cygnets) is by hissing. Fluffing up their wings and feathers (to look bigger) and raising / stretching necks is also usual.

    If you have seen him doing the same thing year after year - and he only does it near the shore - I would assume this is part of his body language - I'd be interested to know what it means.

    I have observed similar behaviour with two swans in our local patch over the years - both had swallowed angler's lines and they were trying to get them removed. But that can't be the case with the swan you mention if it's repeated behaviour. So I am bumping the post to get someone to respond.

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    "Any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much the larger and better in every way." John Muir

  • The swan in question has now been caught and xrayed. He did have a fishing hook deeply embedded in his throat which had probably been there for some time. It has now been surgically removed as there was no other way to remove it. We will see how much difference this makes to the headshaking when he returns to his family.

  • In reply to Judy H:

    Thanks heavens you saw it and took action, well done to you.

    Lot to learn

  • In reply to gaynorsl:

    Oh my, poor swan, well done you for your intervension, otherwise the outcome would have been very different. How often have we read and seen about folk discarding fishing reel and hooks and not tidying up after them.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • In reply to Catlady:

    Well done Judy! Who did you alert to get the swan ex-rayed and operated on?

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    "Any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much the larger and better in every way." John Muir

  • In reply to Marina P:

    It was Yorkshire Swan and Wildlife Rescue who I contacted about the swan and he is doing well at their sanctuary near Selby. Should be coming home tomorrow to his slightly stressed mate and youngsters.

    Can't praise this organisation enough for their dedication.They are a Charity which I would encourage everybody to support.

  • In reply to Judy H:

    Great to read about your caring & timely action in helping to save this Swan Judy & looking forward to more good news updates!

     

     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • In reply to WendyBartter:

    well done spotting something wrong with the swan and gaining assistance for it Judy,  hopefully it will be fine once the surgical incision has healed.   A lesson and reminder to anglers to take discarded fishing line/hooks/lead weights, etc,  home with them.   I have participated in fishing in the past and it's not hard to pack up left over line or hooks into the tackle box to dispose of sensibly.  Whilst on the subject, for folk that have smaller ponds it's better to have the hard mesh covers than netting over them which can also entangle birds on rare occasion.  All it takes sometimes is a bit of forethought to keep wildlife safer.    

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • In reply to Judy H:

    Thanks for that Judy. Let us know how the reunion with family goes.

    Hazel I have raised the issue with the lines/lead weights/hooks with our local patch wardens. Apparently the big problem is broken lines with hooks that get entangled with the weeds at the bottom of the lake. Any ideas how to address this if it happens - I can pass them on! 

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    "Any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much the larger and better in every way." John Muir