Hello, last year we had a family of 4 on the dock next to the River Side stadium, Middlesbrough. Mum & Dad could be seen driving off one of the babies every time he got close to the group. Not sure if this was just their way of telling him it was time to start his own family. When I came back to work after Christmas (early Jan) I noticed a single swan and wondered if this could be the same one. He is still there, looks healthy form afar and appears to be eating, he is friendly and will swim up to say hi. I'm a little worried as he is still here every morning when I arrive at 7:30am and leave at 4:30am - due to the stormy weather we are having at the moment and it being very early for him to return from the south. Is it normal for swans to appear this early in the year? Is there anything I can do to ensure his survival during the wintery conditions? he seems to keep to same spot in the dock. Any advice would be greatly appreciated :) kind regards Natasha
Hello Natasha, I wouldn't be unduly concerned about this swan, assuming is a common UK mute swan which are found throughout the country as it doesn't appear to have any injury from what you say and is just on its lonesome. This may be because it is young and hasn't paired up yet or an adult that has lost its mate and has not bonded with another swan yet. The cold will not bother them as it is equipped to deal with even severe winter weather. From what you say it is finding natural food to eat (I would not feed it bread in case you are tempted being a friendly swan that will swim up to you - if you want to feed it you can buy special Swan/duck food), however, it should survive perfectly adequately without human assistance. Swans are territorial, especially as breeding time approaches and will chase away other intruder swans which is what you may have witnessed. Hopefully, this swan will find its own mate eventually and have a territory of its own; they often stay in the same familiar area so once again, no need to be unduly concerned unless it is injured, just enjoy watching this beautiful bird which sounds happy doing its own thing ! .
"Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again"
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