A site dedicated to the proper care and general information of mute swans

Mute Swans Courting

January 20th, 2015 | Posted by LadyNerkle1 in Mute Swans Courting - (Comments Off on Mute Swans Courting)

Mute Swans Courting 

The Sweet Displays of Mute Swan Affection.

Mute Swans Courting

Determine the Sex of Swans by DNA

January 20th, 2015 | Posted by LadyNerkle1 in Determine the Sex of Swans-Cygnets by DNA - (Comments Off on Determine the Sex of Swans by DNA)

Whether you are Looking for a Swan
to Replace One 
you have Lost,
Selling Swans or Cygnets to ReHome them,

Swans DNA-Sex Testing

Determining the Sex of Swans by DNA

Click Images to Enlarge 

Before you Pinion a Tiny Cygnet:
TRY to Determine the Cygnet’s Sex first, if possible.
Vent Check if You know what to look for.

Tiny Mute Swan Cygnets

If you know a Person who knows how to Vent Check..
ASK for Help.

Vent Sexing Cygnets is not 100% Accurate.
If you find Male Parts/the tiny Penis..
Then you have a Male.. Pinion the Left Wing.

If you can NOT find the Penis..
that does not mean you have a Female.

It is difficult to find the tiny Penis in Cygnets.. it might be missed.
During the First 10 Days after Hatching, it is suggested that the Penis is larger due to the Cygnets elevated Hormones.

Female Mute Swans

All Cygnets that might be Female (Maybe Male) should be DNA Checked…

At least Pinion the Right Wing.
BETTER to Pinion a Wing when they are Tiny then NOT.

Pinion Cygnets

ASK Your Veterinarian for Instructions. 

ASK SOMEONE who KNOWs How to PINION Safely. 

TO Pinion an Older Cygnet or Adult Swan is Time Consuming
and Hard on them and their Owners.  It is only safely done by an Avian Veterinarian who preforms this Procedure.

Surgical Pinion Swan

Swan Cygnets LESS then 10-12 Days Old have ONE Tiny Capillary, ONE Tiny Nerve and Soft Cartilage in the Distal Wing Tip.  Pinioning at this time is the Safest for the Cygnet.

Young Swan Cygnets

Be Sure to USE some method of keeping track of which Cygnet is which.

Cygnets can be Sent for DNA Testing.
PLEASE READ Below*****************


From Gazette
Discussion of Sexing Birds by Vent Checking


Direct from WEBSITE.
The best thing is to get another Breeder who is an Expert at Vent Sexing to help you and supervise you until you’ve picked up the knack of it.

Most Ducks are very easy to Sex while the Geese and Swans resist you more, that is tighten their Vent Muscles so that it is most difficult to invert their Cloacal Region so their Inner Sex Parts come into plain view. Perhaps the best time to Sex any Water-Fowl is when they are a week or two old, and some say best results are achieved at just 3-4 days old.

Experience indicates that Vent Sexing is best done in the Spring on Adult Birds, when the Sex Organs are beginning to swell.
At this time of year the gentle manual manipulation of a Male’s Vent will cause sensitive twitching and reflex movement.
This does not occur when handling Female Water Fowl and is a good indicator of Sex in my judgement, but as mentioned before, an Expert can apply the right amount of pressure and easily
cause the Vent to invert itself and expose the Inner Sex Parts so that there is no doubt as to Sex.

Check the drawings that illustrate Vent Sexing in various publications so you know what to look for, and the Penis on a Male will stick out especially when the right manipulation of the anal region is applied, so there is really no guess work involved when done right.

Also, before doing Vent Sexing for the first time, it is my recommendation that you first consult with and receive instruction from an Avian Veterinarian.
End of Quote from Gazette Article

I wish I had found someone who could do the above Vent Sexing Method. But, Whoooo is me… TOO Many Mistakes occurred..
Even with years of Experience.

I have read that Vent Checking can result in injury to the Cloaca Sphincter.  It would be easy to scratch the Sphincter trying to manipulate it.

Mute Swan Cygnet

SO…. I prefer to spare the Cygnet/Swan and do the DNA-Sex Testing.
Vent Sexing Swans/Cygnets is NOT Fool-Proof..
A Percentage will be WRONG..
If you Find Male Parts – Penis – Great..
But, if you do not find the Tiny Penis,
–                                you can not be sure you have a Female.

If you Introduce a Second Male by Mis-Sexing a Swan….
View the Video Link Below…  This is NOT a Swan Ballet.



Ducks have a real Penis…. Swans not so….


Ballistic Penises and Corkscrew Vaginas
– The Sexual Battles of Ducks

Swan are NOT similar to Ducks or Geese.
Male Swans do not have a Penetrating Sex Organ.
The Size of the Structure which transfers Serum is affected by the Current Hormone Level in the Male Cygnet/Swan.

Welsummer Rooster

How Chickens Lost Their Penises
(And Ducks Kept Theirs)

Over the Years I have talked with Some Folks who Suggest comparing Swan or Cygnet Size, Vocal Pitch, Behavior.
– All Subjective.


The Knob of both Male and Female Mutes changes through the Year as the Swan’s Hormones Increase/Decease annually..

Female Mute Swan Knob

Same Female Mute Swan Before Nesting & After Nesting Season.

Female Mute Swan Knob
The Knob on a Mute Swan will Change as their Weight Changes.
Healthy Swans tend to have larger Knobs

Mute Swan Knob
– Underweight Swans have Smaller Knobs.

Underweight Mute Swan

I do KNOW if a Swan lays an Egg… that is a Female..
A Healthy Female Swan needs to be at least 3 Years Old before she will lay an Egg.

Female Mute Nesting

I know of any number of Situations where a Pond had two Male or two Females..
NOT a Female / Male Breeding Pair.
The Swan Owners were Frustrated there were NO Cygnets..

Young Female Swans

If you are interested…
I will share some OOPs Anecdotes at the End of this Page.
Stories of Mis-Sexed Swans..

Same Sex Male Swans

The Above Image – Turned out to be TWO Males.

The Advances in DNA Testing = Reliable Sexing Results.
is by DNA-Sex Testing.

There are Several Types of Samples that may be Submitted for Testing.

Feathers For DNA

Each needs to be Handled Properly to Protect the Sample’s Integrity.

AvianBiotech.com Avian Sexing Center – Learn More.

Mute Swan Cygnet

Very Young Cygnet do not have Feathers and can not be Feather DNA-Sex Tested.
Down is not Acceptable for Testing.

True Swan Feathers

True Feathers will start emerging around 8 Weeks.
Too late for you to Tie or Cut Pinion…

Try to Pinion FEMALEs on RIGHT WING Tip – the Distal Wing
**** ONE WING ONLY ****
Pinion MALEs on LEFT WING Tip – the Distal Wing
**** ONE WING ONLY ****

Pinioned Mute Swan

THERE IS NO NEED to Pinion Both Wings. 

If you are VERY LUCKY.. all your Cygnets will Survive..
That is Generally not the Case.

Mute Swan Family

Predators will claim many Tiny Fuzzy Cygnets.

Great Blue Heron
The most Common – Red-tailed Hawks, Snapping Turtles, Owls, Great Blue Herons.

Polish Mute Swans

From Experience, there is a Wisdom in Collecting a Sample if you have a chance. Identify the Cygnet/Swan and ID the Sample well.
Store as the Avian Diagnostic Lab. instructs.. and wait until the Cygnets are about 4 Months Old to send the Samples for Testing.
NO Point having Results for Cygnets that have not survived.

Polish Mute Swans

I wish this was more Straight Forward..
but, Determining the Sex of Cygnets and Swans is a Challenge.

WEEKS Before the Cygnets are Scheduled to Hatch.

Once the (Pen) Female starts to “Sit” full time, mark your Calendar and count 35 – *37 Days.  On Day 35 you might be able to hear the Tiny Cygnets in the Shell “Pipping.”  If all goes as planned they will start to Hatch on Day *37.  YEAH !!!

Nesting Female Mute Swan
Collect Your Supplies so you are READY.
Check with Family or Friend – who will be willing to Help.
EXTRA Hands are Important.

Speak with Some One in the Avian Testing Lab,
If this is your First Time to Collect DNA Samples.
Become Informed of ALL Your Options.

Order or Ask them to send you a few Collection Kits.

SWAN DNA-Test Kits
OR Make you own Sample Kits.
Clean ZipLoc Bags.. For Feather Samples.

SWAN DNA-Test Kits

Clean White Paper Towel Squares Prepared for a Drop of Fresh Blood.
Draw a 1/2 Circle to fill with a Drop of Blood.

When you Pinion a Cygnet, there may be a Drop of Fresh Blood.

AVIAN Biotech Main Office in the U.S.A.

Avian Biotech International
Toll Free: 1-800-514-9672
Fax: 1-850-386-1146
Email: contact@avianbiotech.com
1336 Timberlane Road
Tallahassee, FL 32312-1766

Outside the U.S.: 1-850-386-1145


A Printable Form is Available on Avian BioTech’s WebSite.

With Cygnets Older then 8 Weeks..
I suggest you pay the extra $5.00 to have a DNA-Sex Test
done with Feathers – fee $24.50 (with Postage – $25.00)

Mute Swan Cygnets

AVIAN BioTech has instructions on their WebSite for proper
collection of Samples. Feathers must be Plucked..
Not picked up. No Moulted Feathers.

Moulting Swan

AVIANBIOTECH.com DNA Sexing from Feathers



A carefully collected Drop of Blood can be sent for DNA – Testing.
Read instruction on Avian BioTech Website…

This would mean a tiny spot will have Open Skin exposed.
Avoid allowing Cygnets to go back in the Pond for 1 -2 hours..
ESPECIALLY, if there are Snapping Turtles in their Water.

ANY Bleeding is to be cared for and completely STOPPED.
I have used Clean Corn Starch and Clean White Flour as an Aid to Stop MINOR Bleeding.
WONDER DUST has been recommended.. I plan to try this.
There is additional Information for Wonder Dust at the Bottom of this Page.
Kwik Stop Styptic Powder should be used CAREFULLY as a Last Resort to Stop Bleeding.

Pinioned Mute Cygnets

If you can Squeeze a Nice Drop of Blood from the Removed Tip
of the Wing when you Pinion, Soak the Blood Drop onto a VERY CLEAN Paper Towel Square.
Do your Best NOT to Touch the Area to be Soaked with Blood Drop.
Place in a Labeled ZipLoc Bag.

SWAN DNA-Test Kits

Label carefully, Refrigerate in a DRY Container.
This can be sent in for their DNA-Sex Test..

A Blood Sample fee is $20.00.  (in 2016)
Both Feather and Blood Dot Results take 5-10 days.

I do not like to see holes poked in a Swan’s Feet or Legs.
This Greatly Increasing the risk of Painful *Bumble Foot Infections.

Bumble Foot Sore

Beautiful as they are, Swans Walk, Stand and Swim in POOP.

Swan Standing in Poop
The Sores it Causes are TERRIBLE..

Swan Bumble Foot Sore


The Tiny WING TIP of a Cygnet Pinioned
when less then 10-12 Days, may have a Drop of Blood to Soak onto a Blood Collection Card – Absorbent Paper Towel.

10 Day Old Mute Swan Cygnet

I checked with Avian BioTech..   (October 2014)
The Tiny Wing Tip that is Snipped Off when a Cygnet is Pinioned Can be submitted for the DNA-Sex Testing..
The Wing Tip has an Area of Skin which is Fresh Tissue acceptable for Testing.

Swan Cygnet DNA Sex Testing

Fill out the Submission Form *Immediately and *Send ASAP
OR If you want to wait to send the Wing Tips…

Since several Cygnets may not Survive the first several Months,
it is Practical to Send for the DNA-Sex Testing when the Cygnets are around Three to Four Months Old.

IF you have a GOOD way to Identify each Tiny Cygnet when you Pinion them, you can put each Wing Tip in a Carefully Labeled PAPER ENVELOPE.

Swan Cygnet DNA Sex Testing
Information: DATE Specimen Collected – Cygnet ID – Your Name

Then Put ALL Envelopes together in a PAPER BAG.. LABEL.
Put these in the Freezer. They are Good for One Year.
I Checked this with Avian BioTech  (June 2016)
Check with Avian BioTech for Instructions
to Send Frozen Samples.  

At Three to Four Months of Age, you will be able to Send the Ones you Need.

Cygnet DNA Sex Results

CHECK with Avian BioTech for Handling Instructions.
Put EACH Wing TIP in a Separate *PAPER ENVELOPE

ID the Cygnets SOME WAY…

ID Each Separate *PAPER Envelopes.
Place Only One Wing Tip in each *PAPER Envelope with ID INFO.

Mail ALL Labeled Paper Envelopes Inside a Larger Paper Envelope with Submission Form.

Swan Cygnet DNA Sex Testing

Once the Diagnostic Lab. receives your Sample/Samples you will Receive a Message by EMail..

DNA Sex Test Results

Then in 3-5 Days the EMail Results will be Ready..
So, allow 8-10 Days for Results..

A Print-Out and the DNA Sexing Report Certificate will come in the Mail in 2-3 Weeks.

SWAN DNA-Certificate

Example of the Certificate that Avian BioTech Sends.
(I added the Photo)

This DNA-Test with its Certificate increases the Saleability of Swans/Cygnets. This information is very desirable to Folks looking for Swans/Cygnets.

There are other Animal Genetic Labs that do this Testing.
This is the one I have used for years..

* AVIAN BioTech – Avian Services Center *

AVIAN BioTech has instructions on their WebSite for proper
collection of Samples.
FOR True Feather Samples to Send for DNA-Sex Testing.
Animal Genetics Page for Avian DNA Sexing (Feather)

Feathers must be Plucked..
Do Not picked up Feather laying on the Ground.
No Moulted Feathers.
The Test is Run on the Pink Skin Flesh that is inside the Quill.
Feathers MUST be Plucked-Pulled from the Live Bird.

SWAN Feathers DNA-Sex Testing
Cygnets must be old enough to have real Feathers.
Downy is not acceptable. Feathers will start coming in
when they are around Two – Three Months Old – 60-90 Days.

Pin Feathers are New Growth Feathers.. They are Rich in DNA.
5-6 Pin Feathers are an Acceptable Sample.

Swan Cygnet 90 Days Old
There are Photo Images to help you see what needs to be done…
Pull 5-6 Feathers from the Chest area… Slight Tug will be needed..

Fresh Plucked Festhers
Does not hurt the Swan… They will fuss just being held..

Feathers, Fresh Plucked can be stored at Room Temperature for One Year in a LABELED Dry Paper Envelope.  (Checked April 2016)

Place Feather Sample in a ZipLoc Bag just before Mailing.
Label each Swan and Sample so you know which Swan
the Results will correspond to.

Feather DNA Sample for Swans

You will receive a DNA-Sex Test Result Certificate for each Swan.
This Certificate should stay with the Swan through its Life.
This is much like their “Birth Certificate” – “Hatch Certificate.”
Since the SAFE Time to Pinion Cygnets is their First 10 Days..
It is not always possible to be sure what Sex the Cygnets are
when deciding which Wing to Pinion..

Pinioned Swan Cygnet
BETTER to Pinion A Wing by 10-12 Days then Not Pinion.

There are instruction to Clip a tiny piece of
–      Toe Claw for DNA-Sex Testing.
I am not familiar with this.. I do not know if this will bleed..

Swan Missing Toe Claw
We had one 10 Month Old Female Cygnet
–                                                    that was missing a Toe Claw.
I wonder if this was how she was Tested.. ??
There are instruction for sending
–    EggShells for DNA-Sex Testing…

Mute Swan Egg Shells
I am not familiar with this..
The “Dam” will generally ingest the Shell if a Cygnet Hatches.
This might be practical when Eggs are Hatched in an Incubator.
Making Sure which Cygnet belongs to which Shell would be Tricky.

Take Care to adjust ANY Leg Band so it will NOT
Slide UP the Leg over the Ankle Joint..
The Joint Next to the Feathers…

Cable Tie ID Swan Cygnet

Adjust to minimize Catching on things.

As the Cygnet/Swan Grows. THEY GROW QUICKLY.

We have used Colored Cable Ties on Cygnets we are Hand Raising.  NOT Cygnets on the Pond with their Parents.

Colored Bands to ID Cygnets

I have NO Suggestions on how to Label or ID Cygnets that are on Ponds with their Parents.
ANY Thing placed on their Legs will need to be changed as they GROW..

I have made several Calls to Companies that make Bands and ID Tags for Poultry and Farm Animals.  This Clip MIGHT work.

June 2016 – After evaluating these as Possible Permanent IDs for Swans/Cygnets, we might try to put a few on when Cygnets are FOUR Months Old.

(June 2016)  More Information will Follow:

NB&T Metal Ear Tag 681
National Band & Tag Company
International Identification INC

721 York St, PO Box 72430
Newport, KY 41072-0430
Phone: 1(859) 261-2035
Fax: 800-261-TAGS (8247)
E-Mail: tags@nationalband.com

Spoke with a Sales Person Natasha April 2016
She felt Metal Livestock “Tags” would work well put
on Tiny Cygnets weighing One Pound that will
Grow into Swans 25-30 Pounds.
These would be clipped into the Wing Skin.
TAKE CARE NOT TO Clip anything but SKIN.

Metal Livestock Identification Ear Tag
Cattle Ear Tags Self-Piercing – Self Locking
Tamper-Resistant Light Weight Aluminum
Will Last for 20+ Years. Style 681
Packs of 100 Number or Letters as you Choose.
One Color add $10.00

There is an Applicator Squeeze Tool that Seals these Tags.
The Photo Images is on the same Page.. $25.00
One Investment should take care of 10-12 Years of Cygnets.


If you have several Cygnets from one Brood that you are SURE you can monitor the Leg Bands..

Cable Tie ID Swan Cygnet
AND CHANGE as they Grow…….
Have at least 4 Colors of SMALL Cable Ties…
OR four Colors of Light weight Cotton Cord (Crochet Floss)…

Colored Bands to ID Cygnets
You can ID a Total of 8 Cygnets.
One of Four Colors on Left Legs
One of Four Colors on Right Legs

IF you need to ID more then 8 Cygnets..
Use combinations of 2 Colors… Keep Careful Records..

NEVER Let the Cable Ties get Tight on their Legs..

Cable Tie ID Swan Cygnet

Before you Cut the Cable Tie – Slide a folded Piece of Paper
under the Cable Tie then Put the Scissors between the
Cable Tie & Paper.  This way you will not put any pressure on the Skin when you Snip the Cable Tie Off.

AVIAN Biotech Main Office in the U.S.A.
Toll Free: 1-800-514-9672 Outside the U.S.: 1-850-386-1145
Fax: 1-850-386-1146 Email: contact@avianbiotech.com

Mail DNA Sample for Swans

AVIAN Biotech International
1336 Timberlane Road
Tallahassee, FL 32312-1766
AVIAN Biotech Office in England
Phone: 44-1872-262737 Email: contact@avianbiotech.co.uk
Website: www.avianbiotech.co.uk

Avian Biotech International UK
P.O. Box 107
Cornwall, TR1 2YR, England

If you are Lucky to know Someone who can teach you to Vent Check the Swans/Cygnets, try to learn..
Then when you are unsure send a Sample for DNA-Sex Testing.

Male Mute Swan Cygnet
Not Finding “Male Parts” does not mean you have a Female.
It just means you did not find a Penis.

It is Surprising how difficult it is to be sure if a Mute Swan is a Male or Female.  Look at this Breeding Pair – So Similar.

Breeding Polish Swans
Cygnets of all Swan Species are the same Challenge.

Black Australian Swan Cygnets
Size of Swan – Size of Cygnet – Not Reliable

This past Summer we Rescued three Cygnets from the same Brood.
The Larger Smoky-Grey Cygnet was the Female.
The Two Smaller Creamy White Nest Mates were BOTH Males.

If we had just Guessed… we would be WRONG.

Mute Swan Cygnets
Several Years ago.. A Swan Breeder with 20+ Years of Experience, claimed two Mature Swans that were always together were a Male/Female Pair.
A Person in Texas purchased this “Pair” and arranged for them to be shipped from Pennsylvania.
Off to Texas they Flew by Air Mail Cargo. By good fortune the two Swans arrived safe and sound.
But, it only took the new Owner a short time to realize both were MALE.
He was NOT Happy…
We met an Older Gentleman with a Lone two year Old Swan on his Pond.  We hoped to help him find a Mate. He was SURE “Swanie” was a Female.

Two Year Old Mute Swan

I remember thinking, this Swan has a very large Knob and is “Busking.” I thought… Hummmm.. acts like a Male.

I was told, No.
A Person who “knows” how to Vent Check, had done so twice and determined “Swanie” was a Female.
I know “Looks” vary greatly.. Lone Females may behave more aggressive as a survival Tactic.

This Gentleman purchased a year old Male Cygnet.

Swan Companions
Four years passed….
The Swans spent more time with one fussing and chasing the other then being a peaceful Pair.
No Mating was observed – Nesting… Yes – Sorta.  NO Eggs.

Same Sex Male Swans

The purchased Male Cygnet had grown into a Large Dominant Male Swan. He would build the Nest and “Sit” on it..
“Swanie” was not allowed near the Nest. ???
The Owner was bewildered and frustrated at the Pair’s behavior.

I suggested several times this might be two Males.
But, the Owner was SURE he was right.

Same Sex Male Swans

One Winter Day, we had a chance to pull several Chest Feathers from “Swanie.”
When the DNA-Results came back…..
“Swanie” was confirmed a Male. The Owner was Shocked !!!

Same Sex Male Swans

NO Eggs after two Nesting Seasons when the Swans were 4-6 years old was the BIGGEST Clue.

Poor “Swanie” had been the Submissive Male to a Larger Male who was often Nasty to him.
Size of Knob.. Not Reliable      Only Mutes have Knobs.

The Knob of both Male and Female Mutes changes through the Year as the Swan’s Hormones Increase/Decease annually..

Female Mute Swan Large Knob
The Knob on a Mute Swan will Change as their Weight Changes.
Healthy Swans tend to have larger Knobs – Underweight Swans have Smaller Knobs.

Female Mute Swan Knob

Vocal Pitch-Sounds  

Listening to Cygnets and Adult Swans, I do hear that they all have their own “Voice.”  Each Cygnet in a Brood has a unique Chirp.  But, which are Male Vocals and which are Female.. ???

Singing Swan Sisters

Behavior ??? Not Reliable

Some Females are Dominant when alone – Survival Mode.
We were fooled by a Large Swan living alone on the River near us.
But, Eggs in HER Nest and we realized this was a Mature Female.


When Two Females live together
–          One will be Submissive and the other Dominant.
There may be all ranges of behavior. They will Nest.
They may both build a Nest.
OR They may build One Nest together and put all their Eggs in one Nest.

Female Swan Nesting
One may do most of the Nest “Sitting.”
One may Patrol…
Depending on how closely you observe them….
You might be unaware they are both Female.
Nest Failure is Common..
so when the Eggs do not Hatch (Unfertilized)..
It may just be disappointing.
Blamed on a Very Cold or Wet Spring..

When Two Males live together
–         One Male will be Submissive – the other Dominant.
They may behavior like a Pair most of the time..
There tends to be more Fussing and Nipping.
When they Nest – NO EGGs. BIG CLUE.
An Online Story “Much Ado about a Mute Swan.”
The Website that Told this Swan Story is no longer Active.
The Story Summary:
“Prince” and “Princess” together for 21 years on a Community Lake.
They Nested every Spring out on the large Community Lake.
Each Spring the Community hoped and watched for Cygnets.
In 21 Years there were NEVER any Cygnets. ??? 21 Years.

Some Years “Prince” and “Princess” Nested together.
Some Years they both Built Nests. ??? Never any Cygnets.
Boaters went out to check the Nests… NO Eggs… 21 years.
When “Princess” died.. she was taken to a Veterinarian for a Necropsy.
The report – “Princess” was a Male.
–                               21 Years and NO ONE GUESSED !!!

Coloring is NOT Helpful – Polish vs. Royal

Male Polish Mute Swan Cygnet
Old Published Information was misleading.
Not all Polish Cygnets are Female.. Surprise.. This is NOT True.
Black Feet – Brown Feet – Dark Orange Feet – Pink Feet.
Pull a Pink or Blue Slip of Paper out of a Hat Full of little Pieces of Paper.  With Lots of Experience you get better at Guessing.. GUESSING.

Female Polish Mute Swan Cygnet

FROM an ARTICLE Published around 2000

**** Creamy White Cygnets will be FEMALE… (WRONG)
They can be Pinioned on the Right without worrying about Vent Checks or DNA-Sex Tests. (WRONG)

Male Polish Mute Cygnets

This Information does NOT Hold TRUE.
I have heard others use this OLD Information..
–                                                      with the Polish Cygnets.

I had Read an Article about this, but that was found NOT TRUE.
That Article has been removed from the Internet.

This Brood of SIX Polish Mute Swan Cygnets
DNA-Sex Tested Four Female – Two Males…
From the RATTLING CROW June 2012

Conover MR, Reese JG, & Brown AD (2000).
Costs and Benefits of Subadult Plumage in Mute Swans: Testing
Hypotheses for the Evolution of Delayed Plumage Maturation.

This Article Corrected the previous Information about the Polish Mutes.

We decided it is BEST to have All Swans and Cygnets regardless of Color – DNA-Sex Checked.

DNA Sex Tested Cygnets

There will be some Cygnets that will be a Silvery-Grey
–                                                         with Grey Feet and Beaks.

Male Mute Swan Grey Feet
Some are Male Some are Female.. WE TEST – NOT GUESS.

SO… We Send Samples for DNA-Sex Testing on ALL Swans and Cygnets we do not know. I would rather be sure then to “Guess.”

Swan Cygnet Feathered Out

WONDER DUST – Farnam Company, Inc.
Please Read the Ratings and Reviews..
I am not familiar with this Product.. But, I like the sound of this as a way to STOP Bleeding and Treat Minor Scrapes and Cuts on the Skin of a Swan and Cygnet.
I do know a Person who has used Wonder Dust and recommends it.

Wonder Dust
TRACTOR SUPPLY, Co. Check – Available in Store.

Wonder Dust is a dressing powder and blood coagulant for use on certain types of wounds, cuts and abrasions. Please Read Complete Product Information.
SMARTPAK Farnam Wonder Dust Powder, 4 Oz.
Information from this WebSite…..
Wonder Dust is a dressing powder and blood coagulant for use on wounds, cuts, abrasions, and capillary bleeding. Will stop bleeding fast, dry up the wound, and help control granulated tissue formation- a must for any first-aid kit!

Wonder Dust contains activated charcoal to help prevent proud flesh, and serves as a caustic and drying agent for slow-healing sores and infected lesions. Wonder Dust may be used with or without a bandage.

This is a Work in Progress..
Information Collected and Organized by L.M.Sweger April 2016
&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&SWANLovers Info


Mute Swans Pair Bonding

January 20th, 2015 | Posted by LadyNerkle1 in Mute Swans Pair Bonding - (Comments Off on Mute Swans Pair Bonding)

Mute Swans Pair Bonding

Swans Pair Bonding

Male Female Pairs – Brood Swans

January 20th, 2015 | Posted by LadyNerkle1 in Male-Female Pairs - Brood Swans - (Comments Off on Male Female Pairs – Brood Swans)

Brood Swans

Male Female Pairs – Brood Swans

Responsible Ownership of Captive Mute Swans

January 20th, 2015 | Posted by LadyNerkle1 in Responsible Ownership of Captive Mute Swans - (Comments Off on Responsible Ownership of Captive Mute Swans)

Responsible Ownership of Captive Mute Swans


Pennsylvania Mute Swans

 Click Images to Enlarge

My Goal is to Encourage Owners and Breeders of Captive Mute
Swans in Pennsylvania to be Responsible with their Mute Swans,
so our State can avoid the Pennsylvania Game Commission
imposing strict Regulations or a Prohibition of Mute Swans in

Captive Mute Swans

Keeping Captive Mute Swans on Private Property will
benefit all who enjoy having or visiting these Graceful Swans.
In Pennsylvania Privately owned Mute Swans
are considered Exotic Domestic Poultry – they are Captive Pets. There are no current Restrictions for Owning, Buying,
Selling or Breeding Mute Swans in Pennsylvania.

Assorted Swans

If each Captive Mute Swan Owner and Breeder will practice
Responsible Care to prevent their Adult Mute Swans or Mute Cygnets from leaving the safety of their Private Property, then a Feral Population will not become troublesome for PAGC WaterFowl
Management. Mute Swan Owners will help prevent the Feral problems experienced by neighboring States.

Pennsylvania Mute Swans
To prevent Mute Swans from leaving Private Property it is important Mute Swans are rendered Incapable of Flight.

Pennsylvania Mute Swans

The Surgical Pinioning of the Distal Section of ONE Wing is a
Permanent Way to keep Swans from Flying.
Swan Cygnet Pinioned             Mute Swan Cygnet Pinioned at 5 Days Old. 

The easiest and least Traumatic time for the Swans to have this Procedure done is during the first 10 days after a Cygnet Hatches.
Pinioned Swan Cygnets

This should be done by an Avian Veterinarian
or someone who is knowledgeable of this Procedure.

Clipping Mute Swan Cygnet

Clipping Primary Flight Feathers of ONE Wing will Temporarily
Ground an Unpinioned Swan until their next Moult.

Mute Swan Moulting
Clipping newly emerged Flight Feathers is risky while they are “Blood Feathers.”  It is safer to wait until the Feathers Blood Vessels Atrophies.  It is easy to put off Clipping just a little too long. Your Swan may simply fly off never to return.

Mute Swans Flying

Captive Mute Swans
Finding New Homes for Mute Cygnets and/or Rehoming an Adult
Mute Swan is the Responsibility of the Current Owner.

Pennsylvania Mute Swans

No Mature Mute Swan or Mute Cygnet should be release to Public Lands or Public Waterways to live in the Wild as Feral Swans.
In Pennsylvania Feral Mute Swans will be Remove from Public Lands and Waterway by Hunters.

Discarded Pet Mute Swan

We Tried Over and Over to Catch is Mute Swan – NO Luck.
Discarded Pet Mute Swan

       This Gentle Female Mute Swans
was Shot September 2008.

PAGC 2014-15 Please Be Aware Your Swans and Cygnets are NOT Safe 
If they Leave Your Property. 

As more and more States are restricting Ownership, requiring Permits or simply Prohibiting Mute Swans in their States, finding new homes for Mute Cygnets is becoming a challenge..

Pennsylvania Mute Swans
Pinioned Mute Swans are much easier to rehome.
Done properly Addling or Culling/Spoiling Swan Eggs – treating the
Eggs to prevent them from hatching, will reduce the need to find New Homes for the first year Cygnets – 8 to 10 months old.
It is important to learn to do this properly.

Spoil Swan Eggs

Allow the Female Mute Swan to “Sit” on her (Spoiled) Eggs for a Total of 42 Days, then remove them.  The 42 Days started when the Pen starts to “Sit” Full Time.

Mute Swan Spoil Eggs

If you Take the Eggs away too soon, the Female will Recycle and lay another Clutch of Eggs.

Nesting Mute Swan

Mute Swan Nesting
Consider Same Gender Pairs.

Same Sex Male Mute Swans
Instead of having a Breeding Pair, consider same Gender Swans.
Two Females are good Company for each other.

Sister Mute Swans

Spoil Swan Eggs
Female Pairings will need to “Sit”on their Nests of unfertile Eggs for 42 Days and then be taken off the Eggs.

Nesting Sister Swans

Female Swans without a Male to Protect them are MORE
Vulnerable during the Time they “Sit” on their Nests.

Same Sex Male Swans

Two Nest Mate Males will often live peacefully together.
They will build and sit on a Nest, NO Eggs to Spoil…or Protect.

Male Swan Nest

Male Swan Nesting
Not Grounding Cygnets can have Tragic Results.
Young Swan Cygnets Flying about may cause Accidents by landing
on Highways Scaring Motorists.

Swan Cygnet Hit by Car

The Swan’s Wide Wing Span can cause Electric Cable Injuries. (???)
Swans can also become severely injured Flying into Fences.

Fence by Pond

Some PA Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitation Facility will take injured
or Wayward Mute Swans. They are not Native Birds covered by the
Rehabber’s license. The PA Licensed Rehabber may not release Mute Swans to the Wild..  A few will try to Find Private Property Homes.

Feral Mute Swan

Mute Swans related Calls to the PAGC will result
in the 
Euthanasia of Feral Mute Swans.
Feral Mute Swan

PAGC will not Rescue Wayward, ill or injured Mute Swans.
Nor will they arrange for them to be placed in a New Home.
Injured Mute SwansIt is sad to know these wayward Swans will be destroyed through no
fault of their own.
An Alternative to Owning Mute Swans
Consider Native Trumpeter Swans…

Trumpeter Swan Family

Information about Owning Trumpeter Swans.

Livingston Ripley Waterfowl Conservancy
The successful recovery of wild Trumpeter Swan populations to
mid-west North America is a conservation success story attributed to coordinated captive breeding and reintroduction programs overseen by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and managed through State and Federal Wildlife Agencies.

Trumpeter Swan

Cooperative Conservation America

Nesting Trumpeter SwansWyoming Wetlands Society
Trumpeter Swan Captive Breeding Program


Rescue Mute Swan

Feral Mute SwanIf you know of a Wayward Mute Swan that needs Rescued,
Please Contact me.. We will try to help.. if Possible.
Thank You – Linda M.Sweger   StarBug@comcast.net
Camp Hill, PA 17011 (717) 732-6216
OR Try Chloe’s Creek Domestic Waterfowl Rescue
Lancaster County, PA     Active in 2018.
Home (717) 653-1958 Cell Phone (717) 951-7762

Below is Reference Material I have been using for Information.
Doing an Internet Search may have more Current Information.
Feral Mute Swans

The Mute Swan Management Plans Across the United States
are changing every year State by State.
There will be more Current Information on

PAGE:  Where to Find Mute Swan Information
for Your State.

Pennsylvania River

PAGE: Current Status of Mute Swans in Pennsylvania
is not Constructed as of January 2017

Pennsylvania River

PAGC – State Wildlife Management Agency 2010
Information from the Waterfowl Management Specialist.

In Pennsylvania, although there was/is no formal Mute Swan
Eradication Program, Mute Swans that turned up on Public Lands
were often destroyed, and State Law followed the MBTA in
classifying them as unprotected.

Mute Swan Females

In effect, they could be taken without a permit at any time, for any reason, by just about anyone.

Mute Swan Females

A Photography Posted Images of these Female Swans on the Internet.  Two Days later Hunters with a Boat and Dogs arrived at this River Access and Shot them.

The Current PAGC policy for control of Feral Mute Swans is:

Pennsylvania allows Mute Swans to be shot by Hunters.

Feral Mute Swans
Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association

Feral Mute Swans
Mute Swans are an invasive species in the state. The PAGC
recommends that the Feral Swans be removed at any opportunity.
There is no closed season and they may be taken at any time on
Public Lands or Water Ways.
Feral Mute Swans

This is taken from the 2009 PAGC Mute Swan Update
2009 PAGC State Mute Swan Update.html

In 2003 the Atlantic Flyway Council adopted a Mute Swan
Management Plan with the goals of reducing Mute Swan populations
in the flyway to levels that will minimize negative impacts on
wetland habitats and native waterfowl, and preventing range
expansion into unoccupied areas.

Feral Mute Swans

Under the PAGC Flyway Management Plan,
Pennsylvania has a two fold Mute Swan population goal:
zero free-ranging Mute Swans,
and a maximum of 250 in captivity.

Mute Swans Private Pond

By documenting an apparent contraction of the range of Mute Swans
in the state of Pennsylvania, reduced numbers and productivity of
Feral Mute Swans, and relative stability of domestic Mute Swan
numbers below the maximum level, the 2008 survey suggests that
progress is being made toward achieving management plan goals.
Feral Mute Swans       Two of the Above Mute Swans were Shot to Death. 

Duck Hunters Refuge     Pennsylvania Flyway Form http://www.refugeforums.com/refuge/threads/can-you-hunt-mute-swans-in-penn.928323/

Mute Swan Huners

Atlantic Flyway States and Provinces conduct a Mid-Summer Mute Swan Survey (MSMSS) approximately every 3 years to monitor population trends of this exotic, invasive waterfowl species. In Pennsylvania, the MSMSS consists of a compilation of mute swan observations by Wildlife Conservation Officers (WCOs) within their districts during the survey period, which usually has target dates in early August. WCOs are requested to record any mute swans encountered during their routine travels, and if possible to specifically check locations where mute swans have been observed or reported in the past.

Feral Mute Swans

Much of this progress can be attributed to the diligent control efforts
of the PAGC and partner agencies following the removal of legal
obstacles by the Migratory Bird Treaty Reform Act of 2004.
Work does, however, remain to be done to adequately address the negative impacts of this invasive species.

Feral Mute Swans

Population monitoring, control efforts, guidelines and regulations for keeping Captive Mute Swans, and public education will all need to be continued or improved to further reduce the number of feral Mute Swans and keep in check the still-sizable population of domestic Mute Swans, which remains capable of causing nuisance and ecological problems while serving as a potential source for future increases in the free-ranging population.

Mute Swan Family

     2011-2012 Mid-Summer Mute Swan Survey
for Pennsylvania


The Pennsylvania portion of the 2011 (AF) Atlantic Flyway MSMSS was conducted by (WCO) Wildlife Conservation Officers statewide from mid-July through late August, with the majority of surveys completed during the target dates of 1-14 August.

Lone Mute Swan

During the 2011 survey, 167 Mute Swans were observed in Pennsylvania. This was 41% below the total from the 2008 survey and 52% below the peak (2002) total for this survey. The numbers of Broods (10) and Cygnets (17) observed both decreased from 2008, and both totals were the lowest since 1993. The number of Mute Swans classified as Feral declined to 45 (15% fewer than the 2008 survey and the lowest on record for this survey in Pennsylvania).

Nesting Feral Mute Swans

Feral Mute Swans are also accounting for a declining percentage of observed Broods (10% in 2011, compared to 13% in 2008, 26% in 2005, and 38% in 2002).

Mute Swan Brood

The 2011 survey also documented a continued range contraction in the state, with the 30 WCO districts where Mute Swans were observed being the lowest total since 1999. Mute Swan numbers continue to be highest in southeastern Pennsylvania (94). For the entire AF, 9,202 Mute Swans (13% below the 2008 total) were observed (Table 1).

Hunters from other States were coming to Pennsylvania to Shot Feral Mute Swans.  Information allowing this was/is listed in their Hunting Guides.

MUTE Swans Hunter SHOT

As in Pennsylvania, flyway-level Mute Swan numbers trended upward from survey inception in 1986 to a peak in the 2002 MSMSS, but have decreased since then. Declining trends are due mainly to active control efforts throughout the flyway (aided by the removal of legal obstacles by the Migratory Bird Treaty Reform Act of 2004); these efforts will continue as managers seek to reduce Mute Swan populations to levels identified in the AF Mute Swan Management Plan: <3,000 flyway-wide, zero feral/maximum 250 captive in Pennsylvania.
Feral Mute Swans

At the flyway level, the 2005 MSMSS indicated that Atlantic
Flyway Mute Swan numbers had declined (albeit slightly) from
2002, the first decrease observed since initiation of the survey.
Feral Mute Swans
A summary of the 2008 Mute Swan survey results for the entire flyway, which will show whether the flyway as a whole continues to mirror Pennsylvania’s progress toward management plan goals.

Mute Swan Family

Pennsylvania Feral Mute Swan

A Few Feral Mute Swans may Live for a while in areas
where Hunting is not Allowed. 

PAGC – State Wildlife Management Agency

Historically, because Mute Swans are an exotic and non-migratory
species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did not consider them
protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), an
international treaty which gives the federal government primary
responsibility for managing migratory birds, including native
ducks, geese and swans.

Mute Swan Canada Geese
Consequently, management of Mute Swans was the responsibility of individual states. In Pennsylvania, although there was no formal Mute Swan eradication program, Mute Swans that turned up on public lands were often destroyed, and state law followed the MBTA in classifying them as unprotected.

Feral Mute Swans

In effect, they could be taken without a permit at any time, for any reason, by just about anyone. It’s likely that this approach was responsible for keeping our feral Mute Swan population from growing as rapidly as in states where Mute Swans were protected under state law and/or not consistently removed from public lands.

Pennsylvania Mute Swans

In December 2001, however, in response to a lawsuit, a federal court ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service could not exclude Mute Swans from MBTA protection. This placed Mute Swans in the same protected category as native waterfowl, and in effect meant that control measures, including those used in Pennsylvania, had to be put on hold or stopped.

Feral Mute Swan

Combined with the rapidly multiplying feral Mute Swan population
in the Chesapeake Bay just to our south, and the increasing numbers
of domesticated Mute Swans already in Pennsylvania that could
serve as a source of new feral Mute Swans, these constraints on
control activities were a major cause for concern.

Mute Swan Family

Following the court ruling, the PAGC worked with the Fish and
Wildlife Service and other Atlantic Flyway States to develop the
Atlantic Flyway Mute Swan Management Plan.

This plan established Mute Swan population goals for the flyway, along with strategies to begin reducing populations to those levels within the parameters of the MBTA.

Pennsylvania River

As part of this plan, the PAGC established a Pennsylvania population goal of zero feral, free-ranging Swans and a maximum population of 250 legally-permitted Swans held in captivity.

Captive Mute Swan Cygnets

One of the most important control measures suggested in the
management plan was the issuance of federal depredation permits to
allow state personnel to resume removing Mute Swans from public
lands and from private lands with landowner permission.

Feral Mute Swans

However, attempts by the USFWS to issue Mute Swan depredation permits were obstructed by further lawsuits. The lack of depredation permits severely hampered the ability of wildlife managers in Pennsylvania and elsewhere to maintain Mute Swan populations at or below the levels specified in the management plan.

Feral Mute Swans

Fortunately, legislation clarifying that the MBTA does not, and was never intended to, apply to non-native species such as the Mute Swan was passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by President George Bush in November, 2004.

The Last Mute Swans

In effect, this action has returned management authority for Mute Swans to the states, as was the case prior to 2001. This change should make it much easier to keep Pennsylvania’s Mute Swan population under control; of particular benefit is the ability to resume Euthanasia of Feral Mute Swans where appropriate.

Feral Mute Swans

Other management tools may also prove useful in reducing the threat posed by Mute Swans.

Egg addling (treating eggs to prevent them from hatching) is
labor-intensive and much less effective at reducing populations than
removal of adult Mute Swans, but it has been used with some success on Mute Swan nests in Maryland, and may be appropriate for some situations in Pennsylvania.

Spoiling Mute Swan Eggs

Another useful option might be the adoption of regulations to strictly regulate the possession of Captive Mute Swans to ensure they do not cause major conflicts or serve as a source of new feral populations.

The Last Mute Swans
Regardless of the exact control methods ultimately adopted, it is very important to change public perception that Mute Swans are a wonderful addition to our outdoors.
Feral Female Mute Swans
Just as house sparrows and starlings rob eastern bluebirds of critical
cavity-nesting locations, Mute Swans are displacing native waterfowl
and beginning to over use aquatic food sources.

Grazing Mute Swans
Without our intervention now, while Pennsylvania’s Mute Swan population is still at a relatively manageable level, the problems Mute Swans cause for waterfowl and other wetland species will worsen, and addressing these problems will only become more difficult and expensive.
River HealthBy becoming more informed about the threats posed by Mute Swans
and other introduced invasive species, communicating this
information to others, and supporting control efforts, all
Pennsylvanians who care about native wetland wildlife and its
habitats can play a role in safeguarding these species from biological

River Health

Resident Canadian Geese

While Pennsylvania and Virginia allowed Mute Swans to be shot by
hunters, Delaware aggressively removed the birds from state lands.

Captive Swans Need to be Cared for as Domestic Pets.
They NEED Proper Adequate Food
and Reasonable Living Conditions.

Mute Swan Family

This Information is a Work in Progress…..
As I learn more I will add to this information..
Compiled by (C) L.M.Sweger Jan 2017


Captive Mute Swans – Private Property

January 20th, 2015 | Posted by LadyNerkle1 in Captive Mute Swans - Private Property - (Comments Off on Captive Mute Swans – Private Property)

Captive Mute Swans – Private Property

Captive Mute Swans

Mute Swans Living Wild Free – Feral

January 20th, 2015 | Posted by LadyNerkle1 in Mute Swans Living Wild-Free - Feral - (Comments Off on Mute Swans Living Wild Free – Feral)

Feral Mute SwanMute Swans Living Wild Free – Feral

Swans that like to Live as Threesomes

January 20th, 2015 | Posted by LadyNerkle1 in Swans that like to Live as Threesomes - (Comments Off on Swans that like to Live as Threesomes)

Swans that like to Live as Threesomes

The Information for this Page is being Organized.

Swan Threesome

A Lone Swan is a Lonely Swan

January 20th, 2015 | Posted by LadyNerkle1 in A Lone Swan is a Lonely Swan - (Comments Off on A Lone Swan is a Lonely Swan)

A Lone Swan is a Lonely Swan

Swans are Social Birds.
They are Happiest with a Companion or Mate.

Swan will Live Alone – But….

Lone Mute Swan

Lone Swans can be Captive or Feral.. They are Alone.
Lone Mute SwanA Feral Swan on a Large River System.
Lone Mute Swan

A Feral Swan Wandering from Place to Place has little Support.

Lone Mute Swan

These Females Lost their Male Companion-Mates.

Lone Mute Swan

This Female Mute Swan is telling the Dock Post
“I Like You.”

She has been Alone for close to two years.

Lonely Swan

Lone Mute Swan

A Paddling of Ducks are his Only Companions.

Lone Mute Swan

Some Lone Swans will Seek Companionship from
Ducks and Geese.

Lonely Mute SwanThey want to have Companions to Preen with – Sit with.

Lone Mute Swan

Lone Mute Swan

A Female Nesting Alone is Very Vulnerable.
She will be VERY Vulnerable to Predators.

She needs to “Sits” for 42 Days before Removing the Eggs.

Lone Mute Swan

This Lonely Female Swan shared her Food
with the Pond Koi.

They Grabbed her Food – Gone in a Minute.
She finally died.

Lone Mute Swan

A “Rogue” Female Swan took the Mature Male away from this Young Female…  Now she is alone.

Lonely Mute Swan

We Started to Look for a New Male…. It took Time.

Lonely Mute Swan

She wanted some Companionship.. Enter an Egret.

Lonely Mute Swan

“Hannah” tried to Talk to the Egret – “Snort.”

Lonely Mute Swan

They do not Speak the same Language…
“Snort” scared the Egret away.

Lonely Mute Swan

A Lone Swan will usually Look forward to Human Company.Lone Mute Swan

Sudden Loss of her Sister Companion.. She looks for her.

Lonely Mute Swan

Going into Survival Mode.

A Lonely Swan

A Feral Swan Living Alone..  with Canadian Geese. Lonely Mute Swan

Lonely Mute Swan

I have seen Lone Male Swans “Singing” up into the Air.
They are Calling – Hope to Locate another Swans.
Especially as Female..

Lonely Mute Swan

Lonely Mute Swan Singing

This Information is a Work in Progress…..
As I learn more I will add to this information..
Compiled by (C) L.M.Sweger Date Jan. 2017

The Swan Family Unit

January 20th, 2015 | Posted by LadyNerkle1 in The Swan Family Unit - (Comments Off on The Swan Family Unit)

Watch a Family of Swans Leave their Spring Nest
and Go Out on the Water of a Pond or Lake
 is Quiet an Experience.

The Tiny Cygnets GROW So Fast.

The Devoted Parents will Spend the Summer
 and Early Fall Teaching their Brood to be Swans. 

The Swan Family Unit

Click to Enlarge Images 

Mute Swan Family

With Cygnets the Pen is Called the “Dam.”
With Cygnets the Cob is Called the “Sire.”

Mute Swan Family

Swan Family

The Tiny Healthy Cygnets are Ready to Leave their Nest
within Hours of Hatching.

Mute Swan Family