there's a lonely swan in a pond and i want to help it

hi all,

i live in gravesend in kent.

at my local pond there is a single swan in there, it looks really lonely and i cannot help but feel the need to help it. i fed it some kibbles to try and keep the little guy healthy, and stayed with him for abit.

not far away, maybe 40 metres away, are the rest of the swans, 20+ of them, at the river thames.

i have tried to entice the lonely swan to come to me and i lure it back to the thames with food so it can rejoin its friends but it looks uncertain and about leaving the pond. theres no clear way for him to get out with its little legs its got. but i do remember other swans who are so eager to come to me, even walking up to me, once followed me from the pond all the way to the thames, and there i threw the food in the river so it swims for it and joins its friends.

not this poor little one.

here's a pic of the swan at the moment. i want to help it and feel helpless, i dont know what to do?

i emailed my local council but they never respond. what else can i do? shall i contact RSPB? the swans been alone all by itself for a few days now.

thanks

  • Hi,

    This is normal bird behaviour. It may have lost its mate, or may yet to have one.

    It is best not to get birds used to human contact as not everyone is bird friendly.

    There is no need to contact anyone as it's not injured or sick based on what you wrote.
  • ' It may have lost its mate, or may yet to have one. '

    i have been feeding these ducks for many years, the swans always seem to be around the pier and hardly the pond.
    once i saw a couple in the pond and they both got out to follow me as i lured it back to the pier to join the other swans (lured by food).
    but this one is reluctant or seems unsure or scared. its all alone in that pond and not with the others. did it fly there? swans are social animals and need to be around others, especially if its to find a mate - he's the only one in that pond!
    i'm about to go out again now to see how its doing.

    these birds are used to human contact as families come to feed them with bread. i come to feed them with kibbles as excess bread is bad for the swans and ducks.

  • If you are concerned for the welfare of the swan, try contacting The Swan Sanctuary

    Unicum arbustum haud alit duos erithacos

    (One bush does not shelter two Robins)

    Zenodotus (3rd Century B.C.)

     

  • In reply to a_j216:

    All sounds normal.

    As I said, it may have lost its mate. If it saw its mate's demise, it would be scared or unsure if its demise was unnatural.

    Wild birds should not get used to human contact as there are always humans who don't have the birds' interest at heart. There is annual nesting in a park about 5 miles from here. Each year they have a couple of breeding attempts and most years, they lose their eggs in mysterious circumstances. This year, the male was killed by someone.

    In your example, that could have been what happened. While you're right re not giving swans bread, what you're describing is not unusual.
  • the lonely swan is still there.
    my gut and instinct tells me this just isnt right.
    i think it probably wondered off and ended up in that pond. i dont think its able to get out.
    it cant mate or procreate if its on its own with no swans!
    all its brothers and sisters are just 20 metres down the path where the thames is!

    i tried to lure it again but it just doesnt seem interested, too busy gobbling up the mouldy whole bread loaf some idiot threw in there. i'm starting to worry for the poor guy
  • Did you try the Swan Sanctuary?

    Unicum arbustum haud alit duos erithacos

    (One bush does not shelter two Robins)

    Zenodotus (3rd Century B.C.)

     

  • In reply to a_j216:

    a_j216 said:
    the lonely swan is still there.
    it cant mate or procreate if its on its own with no swans!
    all its brothers and sisters are just 20 metres down the path where the thames is!

    why do you think it should be breeding in September? Why don't you accept it may have had a mate and lost it?

  • if it lost its mate, would it then decide that 'ah, i need some space', leave its mates and trot off to the pond?

    excuse me for not being a bird expert, i'm just listening to my gut at this point. you think its acting on its own accord?
  • There is a local RSPB group in the Gravesend area. If you are still worried about the Swan, perhaps you might like to contact the group by using the 'Contact Us' link on their website. You might be able to arrange for someone to meet you there, socially distanced of course, and have a look at the Swan together. As others have mentioned here, I think you do not need to worry about the Swan, but chatting with an experienced birder in person while both of you are watching the Swan might set your mind at rest. Here is the website for that local Gravesend RSPB group:
    www.rspbgravesend.org.uk/.

    Kind regards, 

    Ann

  • What makes it unable to get out of the pond anyway? If it really can't, is it fair to try to lure it out? If it's legs are too short, as you say, how would your presence and food offering make them longer? Observe and enjoy, but leave it alone!