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Author Archives: LadyNerkle1


September 28th, 2023 | Posted by LadyNerkle1 in FISHING is RISKY BUSINESS - (Comments Off on FISHING and SWANs.. NOT a GOOD MIX)

I Understand that Fishing is an Activity Enjoyed by Many.

Fishing and Swans

I am not Going to Bash or Complain about the Sport of Fishing..

It seems to be a Popular Way to Spend Time Outside.
Fishing and Swans

To Enlarge Right Click Image – Open in a New Tab.

FISHING: If you Allow Anyone to Fish in Your Pond or Lake..

Fishing and Swans
Ask them to be EXTREMELY Careful
with Fishing Line,
Sinkers and Hooks..
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It is Safest for your Captive Pet Swans if NO Fishing is Allowed..

Fishing and Swans

I am Always Happy to See Ponds Designated “NO FISHING.”

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A BRIGHT Red Bobber… Someone was Fishing on a NO Fishing Pond.

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The Pond or Lake Your Swans Live on.. is their Home.

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What is Difficult to Accept is the Careless Disregard for the Environment
by Some – Not All – People who Fish..

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Fishing and Swans

Fishermen Say they Love the OutDoors.. > > > Why do they Trash It. ? ?

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Mute Swans get Blamed for All Kind of Negative Impacts
on the WaterWays they Live on.. But, this is Not Swan Waste..
Fishing and Swans******
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THIS is People TRASH ! !

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I Want to Share with Folks interested in Having Swans
what Can Happen if Fishing Hooks, Lines and Sinkers
are Left in the Water where your Captive Pet Swans
and other Water Birds Live.

Fishing and Swans

Your Domestic Ducks and Geese will Suffer Injuries that Mangle them.
Many of these Fishing Related Tangles and Puncture Wounds
will Require a Visit to a Veterinarian..
Wounds can be Time Consuming to Treat.  Many are Fatal….

Fishing and Swans

This Tiny Cygnet was Barely OUT of the Nest and it is HOOKED !

Fishing and Swans

This Female Mallard became Entangled in a SIX-Pronged Barbed Hook.
She was First Hooked in the Webbing of her Foot.
Trying to Free herself with her Beak, her Tongue became Impaled.
She was Lucky, Found, Helped and Released.

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Discarded Fishing Line Around the Leg of this Goose was Cutting
in so Deeply, Saving the Leg was Questionable.
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One Hook can Destroy the Future of an Entire Family.

Fishing and Swans

A FISHING Hook is Literally a TIME BOMB
waiting to Kill any Bird or Animal that Swallows One.

Use GREAT CARE when Capturing a Swan/Cygnet that may have
ingested a Fishing Hook.
Do your BEST NOT to handle the Neck. Keep Stress as LOW as Possible.

VERY GENTLY – Touch the Neck ALL Around to feel
for any Lump that might be the Location of a Hook !!

Below an X-RAY of a Duck that Swallowed a Fishing Hook.
This would Required Risky Surgery to Remove. Outcome Unknown.
Fishing and Swans

If an Unfortunate Swan/Cygnet Swallows a Fishing Hook
OR any Bird or Waterfowl…
The SOONER it is Removed the Better the Chance
that no Long Term Harm or Death will occur.
Fishing and Swans

One of the Young Cygnets above Swallowed a Length of Fishing Line..
The Cygnet’s Owner CUT the Line at his Beak and Released him.
NO Plan to Find Out if there was a Hook or to Help him..
“He is a Wild Creature. God will take Care of him..”      ( B… S… ! )

My Heart SANK, when I learned they turned the Cygnet out to their Pond.

– there MIGHT be a HOOK…

This will Aid finding the Hook.. Leave Several SECURED Inches Visible.

The Bird or Animal will BEST be helped by a Veterinarian.

Fishing and Swans

We Arranged with the County Cruelty Officer for this Cygnet
to be Removed from the Farm Pond.
He was Taken to a Veterinarian for Help.
His Weight was 40 % below what he should have Weighed.

There is NO WAY:  > > > WITHOUT an X-RAY
No way to know how Large the Hook is..
No way to know how the Hook is Oriented..
No way to know how Far Down the Hook has Gone..
NO WAY to know how many Barbs the Hook has..

If a Painful Puncture and Bleeding does Not Kill the Animal/Bird,
Fishing Hooks will Dissolve/Rust over Time..
Depending on the Size, this can take Weeks to Months..
Dissolving Metals will S-L-O-W-L-Y be Absorbed..
Heavy Metal Poisoning.

As the Swan/Cygnet moves about the Hook Barbs may change its
Position and Location.  Swans Twist their Necks to Drink, Eat and
Preen.. It will likely cause PAIN as it Stabs into Tender Tissues.

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Throat Tissues may become Swollen, Sore and Ulcerate.
High incidents of Infection.. Bacteria – Fungus.. Necrosis.

A Swallowed Fishing Hook may cause Chronic to Severe Bleeding..
Especially, if it Punctures a Carotid Artery or Jugular Vein.
Massive Bleeding, Loss of Blood to their Brain.
Obstructive Blood Clots.  Many Fatal Potentials.

Plant Material, which Swans Try to Eat, may be Caught and Choke
the Cygnet/Swan. Prevent Eating – High Risk of Starving.

Hook Barbs may Migrate to the Trachea – cause Airway Obstruction,
Bleeding into their Lungs. Painful Fatal Outcome.

Hook Barbs may Migrate to their Neck Vertebrae.
Damage Nerves-Impair Function. Imagine the PAIN !!

By the Time the Swan/Cygnet is in Distress from a FISHING HOOK,
it will be more Difficult to Save them. The Longer the FISHING HOOK
is in the Throat the more Treatment will likely be Needed.
Poor Prognosis.
Fishing and Swans

This Young Cygnet was Lucky. He was Rescued and taken for Help.
He did not have a Fishing Hook in his Esophagus..
BUT, he did have a Wad of Balled-up Fishing Line in his Gizzard.
The Line was Abrading the Lining of his Gizzard, causing Bleeding.
The Fishing Line was Removed, he was Treated with Antibiotics,
Time to Recover and Gain Weight.. Adopted to a New Home.

Fishing and Swans

If you SEE Fishing Line Hanging from a Swan’s Mouth…
DO NOT CUT the Line. – Leave SEVERAL Inches Visible.
Find a Way to KEEP it from being SWALLOWED Further.
TIE the Fishing Line Around a Kids SOCK.. or a Small Wash Cloth.
Something Soft that the Swan/Cygnet can NOT Swallow.
Your VET will have a BETTER Chance of Removing the HOOK.

Fishing and Swans

The Young Swan Cygnet Below was Rescued – Not Saved.. Died.

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Carelessly Discarded Fishing Line, Hooks and Lead Sinkers
have been Responsible for “Way Too Many” Waterfowl Deaths..

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Painful Tissue Injuries might be Treated after Days of Bleeding
when Infections have started.. All Blood Loss is an Emergency !

What you are Seeing is a Result of FISHING..
and NOT being Responsible for Fishing Line.. and HOOKs !

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The Pain and Stress the Swans Endure May Contribute to a Poor Outcome..

At a Pond that was to be Designated “No Fishing” – Public Fishing Continued.

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The Young Swans on this Pond were Hooked and Injured Several Times.

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We Arranged for a Rescue to Occur on a Wednesday..
A Veterinarian Appointment was Made for that Evening.

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The Owner Arranged for Someone to Shoot the Juvenile Swan on Tuesday.
They were Tired of all the Expensive Veterinary Bills..
The Young Swan was a Victim Twice.. through NO Fault of his. So Sad.

They did Allow the Rescuers to Collect his Brother.
We found him a New Home.  In 2023, he was a Sire to Three Cygnets.

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The Line was Caught on Rocks.. Luckily the Swan Pulled Free..
We Could Not get Hold of her.. The Hook Eventually Rusted Off.

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A Lost Bobber.. Floating out in the River..
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The Saga of a Rescued Swan.. Who Knows how Long she was Hooked.

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A Family that had been Visiting and Feeding her… Took her Home.

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It Took Repeated Tries to Capture this Feral Mute Swan.

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A Trip to their Veterinarian.. Hook was Removed and Treated.

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Weeks of Recovery Time.. the Swan Continued to Struggle.

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She was Using her Wings to Assist her Walking.

Fishing and Swans
This Swan’s Leg was Not Ok.. She Struggled to Walk.. Victim of a Hook.

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Now she has a Home.. Beautiful and Graceful in the Water.


Lead Poisoning is a BIG Problem for Wild and Domestic Waterfowl.

Fishing and Swans

Swallowed Lead will Slowly Cause Toxic Heavy Metal Poisoning.
Difficult and Time Consuming to Treat.

Fishing and Swans

Over the Years, we have Talked with Pond Families and Helped Rescue
Way TOO Many Swans and Cygnets Entangled-Snagged
by Fishing Hooks, Lines.. So Far No Sinkers or Shot Gun Lead.

Well, that has Changed.. Late July 2023.. I Received a Call..
A Young Cygnet was being taken ASAP to an Animal Medical Hospital..
It was Found early in the Day.. Very Weak..
An XRay at a Local Vet’s Office showed a Fishing Split.
It had to be Resuscitated on Arriving at the Hospital..
Sorta Stable for 36 Hours..
Then Seizures Ended this Tiny Life.. Before Treatment could be Started.

Fishing and Swans
The Cygnet above with the Weak Neck Muscles..
Very Suspicious of Lead Poisoning..


This OnLine Image became Real for One of Our Swan Friends.

Fishing and Swans

The Female is Young, the Cob is Older.
They were Getting to Know Each Other.

Fishing and Swans
A Fishing Bobber Floating into their Pond from the Source Stream.
The Young Female Swallowed it ?? Hook and Line. ???
It was NOT going to Pull OUT.. WAS there a HOOK ???
The Fishing Line would CUT if Tugged to Hard.

An XRay did not Show a HOOK..
But the Fishing Line was Very Tight in the Gizzard Muscle.
First Vet Said, Nothing Could be Done… but, Euthanize her.

I Recommended taking this Young Female to another Vet…
that we Know..  Dr. L. gave her a Little Sedation..
That Relaxed the Gizzard Muscles and the Fishing Line
was Gently Pulled UP and OUT !!!
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It was a 90 Minute Drive Home.. By then she was Totally Awake..
And Released Back to her Adoring Mate..  LUCKY & Happy Ending.

Fishing and Swans

A Distressed Swan Rescued after having Tongue Impaled
by Discarded Fishing Hook.

Fishing and Swans

Some Hooks will Come OUT Easily..
Some Hooks Embed Deeply.. Cause Bleeding and Pain.

Fishing and Swans

These are the Painful Punctures Suffered by a Swan in the U.K.
after Swallowing Fishing Line attached to TWO Hooks.

Fishing and Swans

Fishing Line Tangles Wings, Legs, Necks..
Tissue Damage and Permanent Injuries are Common.

Fishing and Swans

One of their Four Month Old Cygnets was Tangled,
Struggling Likely Broke her Wing.
She Died during the Night, before she could get to the Vet’s Office.
Fishing and Swans

There are many Sad Stories I could share..
“PiP” is Another One. He was between 4–5 Months when Rescued.
A Caring Team of People spent Months Helping him Recover.
Thanks to All.
Fishing and Swans

He was Lucky to Survive his Encounter with Fishing Line.
Any Waterfowl, Birds… and other Animals can become Tangled
in Fishing Line left in their Living Environment..
Fishing Line is Strong and does not breakdown..

Fishing and Swans

He was Found with his Foot Tangled with Fishing Line.
His Struggling to Free himself caused Mutilation
of his Left Foot’s Web Tissues.

Fishing and Swans

When Rescued, the Damaged Tissues were Surgically Removed.
All the Network of Blood Vessels between his Toe Digits were Damaged.

Fishing and Swans

It was Over a Year before he was Ready for Adoption to a New Home.

Fishing and Swans

The Primary use of Webbed Feet is for Paddling through Water.
Webbed Feet have more Surface Area to Push Water Backwards
and thus Propelling the Waterfowl Forward.

Fishing and Swans

The Large Network of Blood Vessels in the Webbing is Important
to Aid Waterfowl Regulate their Body Temperature.

This Nasty Damage will Affect his Life.. He will Need to Adapt.
His Foot will Sink into Soft Muddy Dirt, be more Easily Cut.


Entangled Waterfowl Can NOT Fly, Swim, Forage for Food
or Protect Themselves from Predators.
Tightening Constriction around the Body can cause Suffocation.

If Fishing Line gets Wrapped and Tight enough it can AMPUTATE
Legs, Wings, Strangle their Neck Affecting Breathing, etc.
While causing Gangrene as a Body Part Slowly Dies.
The Poor Helpless, Tangled Swan can easily Starve if it does not get help..


Another Young Swan’s Life has been Changed.. Forever.

Fishing and Swans

Once Tangled in Fishing Line, the Line Tightens around her Leg
to the Point it Cut through the Skin and into the Bone
as she Struggled to Free herself.

Fishing and Swans
Infections incur, Circulation is Cut Off Resulting in Amputation.

Fishing and Swans

A Little Local was Given to Finish the Amputation..
Fishing and Swans

This is Where the Leg was Damaged – No Hope to Repair.

Fishing and Swans

She will Not be Able to Walk.. Swans are Too Large to Hop on One Leg.

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It is Hard to think about this Live Bird Suffering Endless Hours
for over 2–3 Weeks – Alone in Pain and Scared.
I do not have Words..

A Series of Dedicated People Tended Tirelessly to Help this Young Swan Recover.

An Experienced Rehab Angel in Florida.. Welcomed this Young Female.
Close to Round the Clock Care.. Weeks of Therapy.

Fishing and Swans

In the End, the Swan kept Trying to Stand to Preen..
Then Plop-down on her Abdomen.
The Abdomen Skin was Bruised Over and Over..
Damaged beyond Healing.

If this Swan would have Stayed in the Water,
she might have had a Chance.
Her Loss was Heart Wrenching for Everyone
who Tried so Hard to Save her.


Countless Birds Suffer an Agonizing Death.

Fishing and Swans

Birds/Swans often Pick-up Fishing Line to put in their Nest.
This may have a Fatal Outcome for the Cygnets.

Fishing and Swans

Fishing and Swans
The Trumpeter Swan Parents Could Do Nothing to Help their Cygnet.
Do a Simple Internet Search for ** Images Swan Fishing **
WaterFowl Do NOT have TEETH..

Fishing and Swans

They Ingest their Food in Bites that can be Swallowed.
Swans are Vegetarians and Eat a Diet with Lots of Tough Fiber.

Fishing and Swans

These Foods Need to be Ground into Smaller Bits that will
Pass into their Digestive System.

Most Waterfowl Swallow Small Bits of Gravel that Act as “Teeth”
in their Gizzard, Breaking Down the Tough Plant Fibers
thus Aiding Digestion.

Fishing and Swans

Ingested Fishing Line can cause Intestinal Blockage and Bleeding.
Balled-up Wads of Line will Churn in the Gizzard Muscle..
Pain and Bleeding..Slow Starvation..

Fishing and Swans

Not Being a Person who Goes Fishing..
I am Using Wikipedia for the Following Information..


A Fishing Sinker or Knoch is a Weight used in Conjunction with a
Fishing Lure or Hook to increase its Rate of Sink, Anchoring Ability,
and/or Casting Distance.

Fishing and Swans

A Lead Fishing Sinker is a Weight used to Sink a Lure
or Bait to the Bottom of the Waterway.

Fishing and Swans

Sinkers are Formed into many Shapes for Diverse Fishing Applications.
Depending on the Metals.. Swallowed Sinkers will Poison Waterfowl.

Fishing and Swans

Most Fishing Sinkers are made of Solid Lead.
Lead is Inexpensive to Produce and Mold into a Large Variety
of Shapes for Specific Fishing Applications.

Fishing and Swans

Fishing Sinkers may be as Small as 1 Gram for Applications
in Shallow Water, and even Smaller for Fly Fishing Applications,
or as Large as Several Pounds or Considerably more for Deep Sea Fishing.

Fishing and Swans

There are many Environmental Concerns Surrounding the use
of Lead and other Materials in Fishing Sinkers.
Lead in Fishing Sinkers causes Lead Poisoning in WildLife.

Anglers should be Careful when using Lead Sinkers
and if at all Possible Never Leave Lead Sinkers
in the Environment they are Enjoying.

Fishing and Swans

Any Lead Fishing Items Swallowed by Waterfowl will
Slowly Poison the Birds.. There are MANY Articles onLine..

Fishing and Swans

Treating and Saving a Swan Suffering from Lead Poisoning
is a Long and Difficult Process.. if Successful.

When I see Fishing on a Pond or Lake where Swans are Living..
I feel myself Tense – Cringe .. Immediate Worry..
> > > Too Many Sad Stories.

Fishing and Swans

Fishing and Swans
A Clean, Litter Free Environment Benefits All.


Fishing and Swans

WildLife would be Happy to See these Signs..

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An OnLine Search:  Fishing Hooks Swans.. Lots of Sad Photos.
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You Get the Idea..  Swans and Fishing do NOT Mix Well !

Fishing and Swans

You will have FEWER Injured Swans, Ducks, Geese !

Fishing and Swans

Thoughts, Information and Memories Collected – September 2023
An Unfortunate Work in Progress. (C) Linda M.Sweger

We can Share the Great OutDoors.
Fishing and Swans

Fishing, Boating, Enjoying Wildlife Safely.
Did you know you can Recycle your Used Fishing Line?

Fishing and Swans

The Fishing Line Recycling Unit above was Installed by an Eagle Scout
as a Community Service Project for a Large Lake Community.

We hope more Fishing Folks will Use this Type of Recycling.

Do a Search for: Fishing Line Recycling Program.

Fishing Line will be Sent Back to be Recycled into Fish Habitats.

There are Products to Help Fisher Folks Recover Line.. and Hooks.

Fishing and Swans

I Learned that there are Effort to Provide Ways to ReClaim
and Dispose of Hooks, Lines and Fishing Stuff…

Please Help Reduce the Suffering.

Fishing and Swans

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Fishing and Swans
It is Just a Matter of Time.


August 23rd, 2023 | Posted by LadyNerkle1 in SWAN CYGNETs-FRAGILE LEGS - (Comments Off on SWAN CYGNETs have FRAGILE LEGS.)

It is Important with Young Swan Cygnets to be Careful Handling them.

IF Possible !  > > NO Chasing ! No Twisting when you Pick them UP.
 > > > Set Cygnets Down on the Ground Gently.

Look that those CUTE LITTLE LEGs..

As I have been Gathering Examples..
It has been Disheartening how many Swans/Cygnets
We know that have had their Legs Injured Permanently.
Many will not be Mentioned here.

It is Important with Young Cygnets to be Careful Handling them.
IF Possible. > > NO Chasing ! No Twisting when you Pick them UP.
Set Cygnets Down on the Ground Gently.

Within Hours of Hatching Swan Cygnet are Ready to Leave their Nest.

Within 24-36 Hours Swan Cygnets are
READY to Leave the Nest and will Learn to EAT !

I Had to Laugh Seeing the Tiny Cygnet Tasting his Sire’s Feathers. 

For THREE Months Swan CYGNETs are Eating Machines !
They EAT and Poop !   Lots of Poop !!


Cygnets have VERY Fragile Legs when Young..
A Poor Diet the first 5-6 Months.. does not Help..

Calcium is the Main Mineral they need to Develop Strong Bones.
Tiny Water Insects are Rich in Calcium and Proteins..

“Crunchy Munchies.”

They will Soon be Floating on the Water that is Only
a Very Short Waddle from their Nest to Start Life as Very Young Swans..

Imprinted they Follow Close to the Tail Feathers of their Parents..
Their Little Legs will be Very Active.
Swan Cygnets will Grow VERY FAST..
When Cygnets Hatch..
Their Tiny Bodies are Much like a Balloon before you Inflate with Air..
( One Way to Think of it. )

In 4 to 5 Months they will be 12-20 Pounds..
Depending on Many Factors..

Their Bones can not be Firm, they must be able to Stretch
into the Proper Shapes. Their Bones are just Thin Scaffolding..

First the Cute Little Webbed Feet >>>GROW..!!
Exaggerate for Fast Paddling.
They Must Keep Up with their Parents..

Then their Necks Shoot UP
… Within 5 Months they are Close to the Size of their Parents.. !!

Healthy Cygnets will be “Feathered OUT..” by 5 Months.

Swans Evolved to Float and Fly.. Not to Stand or Walk..
When we Pinion them.. we Change this..
Pinioned Swans are Safer as Domestic Pets.

For Cygnets that are NOT Pinioned.. ( Please Pinion your Cygnets )
4 to 6 Months is their Instinctive TIME to Learn to Fly
and Leg Injuries are Common.
( The Cygnet Below is Pinioned.)
Their First Primary Wing Feathers are Larger then they will be
the Rest of their Lives..
Larger Feathers for more Control.. Softer Landings..
These are Nature’s “Training Wheel.”

At Six Months their Bones are Close to the Adult Size..
NOW it is Time for Bone Development Changes
and for Minerals to Start to Strengthen the Bone Scaffolding.
They will SLOWLY become Firm – more Solid/Dense..
This will take Another Year + Plus..

BUT, Their Bones are Still Developing.. Their Legs are Still Fragile !
HANDLE Cygnets Gently. Very Little Pressure on their Legs.
They Bend Easily.. Handle like a Fine Stemware Wine Glass..

The Cygnet Below: Notice her Leg Bone ( Blue Cable Tie) is Bent.

Cygnets at 4-6 Months are Old Enough to be Cared for as Adults..
>>>Except for being VERY CAREFUL with their Legs,
which are Still Fragile and Injure Easily..

DO NOT Chase them or Put ANY Pressure on their Legs,
No Twisting their Legs as they are Growing..
Take Care when Traveling with Young Swans/Any Swans
that you DO NOT take Turns TOO Fast or STOP Suddenly
and Knock the Swans OFF their Feet.

If there is Room in their Travel Container Swans may Stand
to Stretch their Leg while your Vehicle is Moving.

Any “Pressure Bends” CAN NOT be Corrected.
The Internal Struts in their Hollow Bones are Damaged.

The First 6-9 Month the Legs of Cygnets are Growing Fast..
Stretching into their Adult Shape and Size the Structures are Thin..

Cygnet Legs Start to Firm from ca. 8 to 24 Months..
Swan Bones are NOT as Solid as Mammal Bones.
Bird Bones Remain Light Weight.. so they can Fly..

If Hand Raised Cygnets are Kept in a Shelter with Very Little SunShine,
Depending on their Diet, they may have an Inbalance
of Bone Healthy Vitamins, Minerals and Exercise.


Bone Density Reflects Mineral Content for Bone Firmness.


Some Years Mute Cygnets Hatch VERY Early in the Spring.
and they are Sheltered to Protect them from the Cold…
and/or the Predators that Snatch these Tiny Fuzz Balls..

The Swan Family below Started with 6 Cygnets..
A Red-tailed Hawk Snatched 3 Cygnets within 10 Days.

Black Australian Cygnets often Hatch in COLD Weather (March)
and are Often Sheltered the First Several Weeks
when they Legs are Growing SO FAST.
Not Sure Most will have even a Kidde Pools.. or SunLight


Being in the Water to Work their Legs is GOOD.
Allow them to SWIM as Much as Possible. ( being Safe..)
Be Sure they can get IN and OUT of the Water Easily…

Below we Used a Kidde Pool on a Slope with the Side Cut to the Ground.
This Cygnet’s Legs were Bent when an Adult Male Sat on her..
Her Legs were Bent-Very Sore, she Scooted on her Belly.

Cracked Corn is NOT a Complete Diet.. !!!!
The General Cygnet Feeding Tips are on this Topic Page..

Feeding Swan Cygnets

We had Several, NOT a Large Sample of Cygnets,
that had some Leg Issues due their Poor Diet..
Correcting their Poor Diet most Cygnets did Improved..
“Abigail” is an Example..

The Commercial Poultry Feeds will have Vitamins and Calcium..etc.
Swan are Birds – Poultry Feed is for Birds..

They Need to Keep their Body Weight in Balance
with their Leg Growth.. This can be Tricky..

As they Rapidly Gain Weight, their Legs are often under Stress..
Stress may Cause the Leg Bones to Twist.
The Bones are Stretching and Growing RAPIDLY.. They are Thin..
At Times the Cygnets Walk as if their Legs are Sore..

Some Young Cygnets may have Shaky Legs when Walking or Standing..
They Avoiding being Out of the Water.. Sitting more then Walking..

Young “Philo’s” Owner was Worried about his Shaky Legs.
As he Grew his Shaking Legs did Stop.

I Presume this is Similar to Kids with “Growing Pains.”
I have Observed this when we Hand Raised Cygnets.

So being in Water Helps keep their Weight OFF their Legs.
And Works ALL their Leg Muscles.

SUNLIGHT is Important for Vitamin D.. ( Shade on HOT Days. )
Hopefully as they Grow, their Legs will Strengthen
in the Proper Shapes. Nature is Moulding them.

Personally, I would Add some Crushed Boiled Egg Shells.
A TSP to a Gallon of Feed Mixture….( OR Fine Oyster Shell )

The Cygnets with Injured Legs were Never Quite Right..
In the Mute Swan Community, MANY Swans Limp..

The Precious Young Female below was Lucky.
She was Attacked by a Bob Cat and Escaped. One Leg was Twisted.
It took Close to a Year for her to Walk well.  She Limps.
In her Pond she is “Princess Hannah.”

Swans that Limp or have Some Leg /Foot Issues is VERY Common.
In the Water they do Fine.. On Land.. Far from their Pond/Water..
they are more Vulnerable.. Especially when Pinioned..
Encourage your Swans to Stay Close to their Water.


I have Learned of Too Many Swans who had Broken Legs..
They are Seldom OK..
Most of the Cygnets or Swans with Displaced Leg Fractures..
did not Survive very Long.. These Fractures did not Heal..
A Poor Blood Supply and Damaged Nerves the Legs will not Function.

These Two Black Swan Cygnets had Poor Union of their Fractures..

One had been Dropped Over a Fence, the Impact Broke his Leg..

The Other ( Poor Diet ) his Leg Broke when he was Hit
with a Chunk of Lettuce.. OUCH !

This Mature Cob was Pushed Sideways.. It Broke his One Leg.
It was Pinned and he was Confined for Weeks.. It did not Heal..SWAN CYGNETs-FRAGILE LEGS

Their Legs Died..and so did they.


The Xray Attached is of a Young Cygnet..
who was Fluttering Down a Hill and Landed in Shallow Water.
His Foot Hit a Flat Rock and Cracked his Leg Bone..


He was a Lucky One.. his Leg Healed.. Xrayed Three Times.
His Adoption was Delayed 6-7 Weeks.

Be Gentle with Swan Cygnet Legs..


Some Broken Wings … Can be Splinted
or if Needed be Removed..
Captive Waterfowl will Adapt to a Damaged Wing being Removed.


CHECK Your Pond Area for Tangle Hazards !


This was a Fun Topic Page to Organize..

Swan Cygnets Grow SO FAST Day 1 to 12 Months..


I am Only going to Provide Basic Information about Avian Bones..

Watching with Aww Birds Flying is Something many of us have Done.
Soaring High in the Sky.. Zipping into Trees.. Landing on Lawns.
OR Watching Waterfowl Glide onto a Water Surface.

A Bird’s Skeleton must be Very Strong to Meet the Demands of Flight.
And Birds Need to be as Light as Possible in Order to Fly.
The Bones of Birds are Lighter in Weight than those of Mammals.


What is the Main Difference between Bird Bones and Mammal Bones?

Bird Bones are Hollow or Semi-Hollow and have Large Air Chambers.


Mammal Bones are Filled with Bone Marrow and Spongy Tissue.

All Birds that Fly have Hollow Bones that have many Pockets of Air.
Their Bones are held together by Thin Bar-like Structures called Struts.


The Struts Prevent the Bones from Collapsing Inward with the
Pressure of Landing.. Healthy Mature Bird Bones are Stronger
than Mammal Bones because their Bones have Denser Calcium-Minerals.

When Bird Bones Break, they tend to Shatter and Splinter
while Mammal Bones tend to Break Relatively Cleanly.

Birds have Evolved for Flight by a Reduction in Absolute Bone Mass.
Unlike Humans, who have Massive Bones, Birds have Pneumatized Bones.
Their Bones contain Hollow Structures Accessible to Air.

Their Hollow Bones are Part of the Avian Respiratory System.
These Hollow Air Chambers are Honeycombed with Criss-Crossing Struts
which Increase Structural Strength while Reducing Bone Mass.

The Pneumatic Bones, include the Skull, Humerus, Clavicle, Keel,
Pelvic Girdle, Lumbar and Sacral Vertebrae.


Organized for Your Information by Linda M. Sweger August 2023.

Below I am Adding some Individual Cygnet-Swan Stories.



Sadly we have to Rescue and Move a Brood of Cygnets.
After Hours Traveling together the Cygnets were a Poopy Mess.

We had the Cygnets in our Spare Shower for Several Days.
The Slippy Surface Caused their Legs to Splay in ALL Directions.
Terry Towels on the Shower Floor Provided Traction.
This Brood was SO CUTE !

I Pinioned them and we Arranged for them
to go to a BackYard Rescue with a Pond to be Hand Raised.

One more Shower Clean-up and we are Heading to the Rescue.

The 7 Cygnets Grew that Summer and ALL were Adopted.
A Rescued Mute Cob cared for them as his.  So Cute.
Some Adult Swans will Accept Unrelated Cygnets
OTHERs will Reject and Attack them.


The Story of “Little Cutie.”

My Summary of her Groin Injures will be Brief.. 

There were a Number of Unrelated Swans and Cygnets
on a Pond of a Swan Breeder.

One of the Adult Female Swans got behind this Cygnet,
Put her Feet between the Cygnet’s Legs,
and Flipped the Cygnet’s Legs Back and Upward.
This Pulled the Groin Muscles.


This Action Disabled the Cygnet.. She could not Walk.
The Muscles were So Sore she would Barely Swim.
For Months “Little Cutie” had to be Carried from Place to Place.

It was Puzzling to me.. This Cygnet Stopped Growing.
Her Nest Mates on the Pond Grew Normally.
By December of that Year.. “Little Cutie” Passed.

I have Witness this Disabling Behavior by Adult Pens.
If they Disable Unwanted Cygnets.. they do not Survive.
In the Wild these Cygnets would be Left Behind and Perish.


Many Adult Swans want Nothing to do with Unrelated Cygnets.

This Young Cygnet’s Legs were Bent
When a Adult Cob Sat on her.. to Kill her.
He wanted to Push the Air OUT of her Lungs.

WEEKs of Quiet and she was Standing !
Her Overall Growth Slowed Down.. She Stunted.

Stunting occurs when there is Insufficient Nutrition
to Grow and Develop.
It is often Exacerbated by Disease and Poor Health.
“Regina” did not have a Good Appetite..

We Named her “Regina” – Little Queen..
Her Adopters Renamed her “Queen Elizabeth” > “Lizzie.”
It was Several Months before “Regina”/”Lizzie”
was able to Leave the Pond and Graze in their Grass Yard.

Watching “Lizzie” Struggle to Walk was so Sad..
She was Very Vulnerable out of the Pond..
A Predator Ended her Struggle.

  “Lily” was Found in our Neighborhood
after a Tropical Storm Blew Through. She was Full-Winged.
She was taken to a Swan Farm as a Rescue.
If Possible it is Good for Swans to have Company.  BUT…

The Older Swans Attacked her Over Night.
We brought her to our BackYard Enclosure to Recover
until we could Arrange a Forever Home.

Her Groin Muscles had been Pulled. She could barely Stand.
It took WEEKs for “Lily” to Stand, Walk and Turn Normally.

We Arrange for “Lily” to be Pinioned by a Veterinarian.

“Lily’s” New Home was Full of Adventures.


” Why is this Happening ? “

I Received a Call and an EMailed Photo of this Trumpeter Swan Cygnet.

He was One of a Brood of Four.  Three Cygnets were Healthy.
This Cygnet was Under Weight and Withdrew from the other Cygnets,
and his Legs were Turning Inward. 

???? Is this a Runt.. It is Not Developing Normally.
This Cygnet did not Survive very Long.


I Hope ALL your Cygnets will be Healthy !





June 19th, 2023 | Posted by LadyNerkle1 in HARDWARE DISEASE KILLs Birds and Animals. - (Comments Off on DO NOT “NICKEL and DIME” your SWANs to DEATH.)

Hardware Disease in Backyard Poultry & Waterfowl.


Hardware Disease is a Problem for All Pets, Farm & Wild Creatures.


Click Images to Enlarge.

A Basic Definition..
“Hardware Disease” in backyard Chickens and other Birds is caused
by the ingestion of Metal Objects present in their Environment.
These Objects range from Sharp Objects that Abrade and ultimately
Penetrate the Gizzard to Objects that may contain Zinc or Lead
leading to Zinc or Lead Toxicosis
or some other Heavy Metal Toxicosis > POISONING !

The Term, “Hardware Disease” is a Misnomer.
It is not a Disease. But various Health Complications that can
Result when Poultry and Waterfowl Eat Coins, Screws, Nuts,
Bolts, Nails, Staples or other Metal Fragments in their Environment.


Chickens, Ducks, Geese and Waterfowl are Attracted to
Shiny Things they find on the Ground or in their Water.
Things like Coins, Nails, Screws, HOOKs, Staples,
Aluminum Foil, Jewelry, Bits of Wire > TWIST TIES.
( Broken Glass is ALSO Shiny. ) Pieces of Broken Glass or Pottery.


This is Extremely Dangerous and can Lead to Serious
Health Problems and Death as the Metals Break Down.

The Dissolved Metal enters the Blood Stream and Slowly
Poisons the Birds or Animals.


Small Pieces of Broken Glass or Pottery are the Cause
of Internal Cutting of the Digestive Track..


The Esophagus, Gizzard, Intestine Lacerations or Punctures
from the Ingestion of Sharp Things are Likely Fatal.
Causing Bleeding and Infection.

One of the 2 Year Old Female Trumpeter Swans in my Swan Network
was found Floating by her Pond Edge..  Her Necropsy found Several
Cuts in her Intestine – She Bleed to Death.  WHAT did she Swallow ?


Heavy Metal Disease is the Number One KILLER
of Healthy, Domestic Waterfowl.


It may take Days or Weeks for Symptoms to Emerge,
and by that Time it is generally Too Late to Save them.
HardWare Disease in Waterfowl

The Birds may have a Delayed Crop Emptying, Sour
or Impacted Crop, Green Diarrhea, Stained Vent Feathers.


If you Suspect your Chickens or Waterfowl have Swallowed
something they should not have, get you Bird to a Vet ASAP for X-Rays.


A Blood Test for Metal Poisoning may be Requested.
And if Possible Check for Internal Bleeding. ( Bloody Poop )


Pieces of Heavy Metal within the Upper Digestive Tract
may be Removed Endoscopically, via Gastric Lavage or Surgically.

Awareness and Prevention is Easier then trying to Treat
Birds/Waterfowl that have Swallowed any Foreign Object.
This is True for ALL Animals or Birds that Live InSide or OutSide.


Birds/Poultry/Waterfowl do NOT have Teeth.
They Do NOT Chew what they Eat.
Their Digestive System has Adapted to Unmasticated Foods.
They “Just Swallowing ANYthing” that Fits in their Beaks.

There are a Number of Processes that Modify Ingested Foods to make
the Nutrients and Organic Molecules Accessible for Cellular Function.

Avian Digestive Systems are VERY Different from Mammals.


In the Esophagus of many Birds there is a Pouch
called a Crop, which Stores Quickly Eaten Foods.

Swans are Grazers not Gobblers like Ducks and Geese.
When there is Adequate Foods Available,
Swans will Eat Small Amounts throughout their Day.


Ergo, Swans do NOT Seem to have much of a Crop.
Ingested Foods/Items Settle at the Bottom of their LONG Neck..

Food Passes from the Crop to the first of two Stomachs.

The First Stomach is the Proventriculus,
which Produces Digestive Juices that helps Soften Firm/Fibrous Foods.

The Second Stomach of Birds is the Gizzard,
where Food is Stored, Soaked, and Mechanically Ground.


AVIAN GIZZARD – is the Muscular Part of their Stomach
between the Sac-like Crop and the Intestines.
It Needs and uses Grit – Small, Hard Particles of Pebbles or Sand
to Mechanically Grind Seeds, Grains and Plant Fibers into Smaller Particles.
Food is Ground-Mashed-Softened into a Digestible Mush.

Birds/Swans Swallow small Stones or Grit as they Graze
to Aid the Grinding Process in the Gizzard.
These Hard Objects from their Environment remain
in the Gizzard longer then Softening Food Materials.


From the Gizzard, Digestible Food Passes into the Small Intestine.
Chemical Digestion and Absorption Occurs in the Intestine
so Nutrients can be used by the Body.

Birds do not have Separate Openings to Excrete Urine and Feces.
Instead, Uric Acid from the Kidneys is Secreted into the Large Intestine
and combines with the Waste from the Digestive Process.
This Waste is Excreted through an Opening called the Cloaca.

HARD Metal Objects DO NOT Just Pass through a Bird…
Depending on the Size..
If they Ingest a Hard Object, such as a Coin, Screw, Lead Fishing Sinker…


… these will NOT Pass through their Digestive System the way
they “might” in a Cat or Dog..
Instead they remain Rolling in the Gizzard and Slowly Dissolving..
Releasing Toxic Metal Chronically.


Iron, Lead, Copper, and Aluminum.
These Metals are Prone to Corrode-Dissolve over Time.

When “Hardware” is Swallowed the Grinding Action of the Muscle
can cause Damage to the Gizzard.
These Birds-Poultry Die from Septicemia (Blood Infection or Sepsis).
This is a Very Painful Process.. they are SUFFERING !

The Trumpeter Cygnet below.. Has NO Pink Color in his Tongue..
It is Severely Anemic and can Barely Breathe.. Few Red Blood Cells..

The Birds and/or Animals are Helpless to Tell Anyone.


The Larger Pieces will Remain in their Gizzard,
Smaller Objects “may” pass through the Digestive Tract
Causing Lacerations, Perforations, Bleeding and Infections.

Domestic and Wild Waterfowl Pick up Lead Shot in the Waters
where Wild Birds are Hunted.  Waterfowl sift Mud and Silt through
their Beaks, swallowing the Grit and other Small Items.
These Small Lead Pellets are Ingested with the Grit Fowl
need to Grind Down Food in their Gizzard.

A Swan’s long Neck allows them to reach further down
under Water and this is why more Swans become Poisoned
by Lead than Ducks or Geese.


The Lead, being soft, is ground down by the Gizzard and Absorbed
into the Blood Stream, Resulting in Muscular Problems.
The Young Cygnet below.. Can not hold its Neck Erect..


This Gives Swans the Appearance of having a Kinked Neck, as the
Muscles Weaken and the Swans are unable to Support their Neck Correctly.


It is Suspected that Low Levels of Lead Poisoning may Contribute to
Deaths caused by Flying Accidents, as Agility and Eyesight may be affected.
>>> No Studies have been Conducted..

The Young Cygnet below.. Flew into the Side of a Bridge..

The Birds/Waterfowl become Victims of their Environment.

Some Birds are able to Regurgitate Undigested Material
> Food Pellets.
Birds of Prey > Eagles, Falcons and Hawks, Spit-up Pellets.
Pellets allows them to remove some Indigestible Material
from their Proventriculus.
BUT, Even these Birds may Retain Metal Items.. and become Poisoned.

This Eagle’s XRay Shows Two Lead Pellets Retained
It only takes ONE Lead Shot Gun Pellet to Kill an Eagle.


Having Domestic Poultry/Swans is like having Small Children.
We NEED to be Aware of Objects within their Environment
that may be Ingested.

An X-ray can Detect Hardware in a Bird’s Gizzard.
The Sooner this is Checked the Better the Chance
the Object can be Removed Successfully by a Scoping.


But without Symptoms of Illness or Suspecting or Seeing
an Ingested Metal Item NO X-Ray is ordinarily taken
of a Bird/Waterfowl/Animal with Hardware Disease.


After the Metal Object is in the Gizzard for a While..
Surgery into the Gizzard is Technically Possible,
but usually too Risky to be Considered a Reasonable Option.
Especially when the Bird is Weakened by Metal Poisoning.

Early Symptoms of Hardware Disease include:

Decreased Appetite and Spending Time Alone.
( they are in Pain..)

More Advanced Symptoms may include:

Loss of Appetite ( possibly increase of fluid intake)
Dehydration . . . . .Vomiting
Weight Loss . . . . . Weakness and Lethargy
Watery Bright Greenish or Bloody Droppings
Drooping Wings . . . Loss of Vision
Unsteadiness . . . . Difficulty Walking
Seizures . . . . . . Death ( Suffering Ends )


The Fact that SOMEONE would offer for SALE.. Photos of Dead Swans..
WHY ?? !!  So Sad..


Check Areas around your Pond, Barns, Pastures and Home
where your Waterfowl might be Wandering and Foraging.


Make Frequent Inspections of any Free Range Area
for Small Metal Objects, Coins, Glass or ANY Trash.


Small Items of Construction Materials Buried in the Dirt
from a Former Owners may Resurface.
Chickens are Good at Digging Things Up that have been
Dropped and Covered with a Thin Layer of Soil.


The Chickens are Less likely to Eat these Metal Pieces..
but your Ducks, Geese and Swans are at Risk of Ingesting them.


They will Suffer Copper, Zinc or Lead Poisoning from
Eating Lost Coinage.. Pennies, Dimes, Nickels, etc.


Sweep with a Metal Detector after Construction or
Building – Fence Repair Projects.

Keep Track of Earrings or other Jewelry that could be Lost.

Avoid using Galvanized Metal Feeders, Waterers and Fencing.

DO NOT use Glass or Pottery in Areas the Waterfowl Visit.

When using Weed Whackers, Lawn Mowers, Chainsaws
or other Types of Equipment near your Poultry/Pond Area
be Aware these may cause Small Metal Pieces Flying about !

Check Bales of Hay, Straw and Shavings for Debris before
using them as Bedding.

Potential Sources of Lead Toxins

Fishing Weights, Sinkers and Lures. Lead Gun Shot.


Lead-based Paint and Paint Chips (especially Around older Structures)
Christmas ornaments, Toys and Toy Parts Imported from China
Coins, Costume Jewelry, Batteries.


Potential Sources of Zinc Toxins
(also known as New Wire Disease)

Galvanized Aviary Wire, Galvanized Nails and Staples.
(the more Shiny the Wire, the Higher the Zinc content)
Galvanized Metal Feeders and Waterers.
Coins, Fertilizers, Metal Contaminated Soil.

They are Hard to See in this Picture..
there are Dozens of 2 Inch Pieces of Wire Fence Trimmings
Left Laying on the Ground…. So Careless.. Deadly.

Zinc Hardware (Washers, Nuts, Wire)
U.S. Pennies Minted after 1983

Potential Sources of Iron Toxins

Nails, Water from Older Iron Water Pipes
High Levels of Iron (Ore) in the Soil.
Scrap Metal, Machine Parts, Decaying Metal Structures.
Insecticides Check Ingredients and Follow ALL Instructions.
(especially a Concern if you have House Chickens or Ducks)

Burn Pits where Folks might Burn Old Wood may have Small Pieces
of Metal in the Ashes.. NAILs, STAPLEs, SCREWs, ETC. CHECK..


Over the Years I have Heard People Say:
“Pennies are NOT Worth Picking UP.”

Objects as Simple as Lost Coins can be Fatal if Swallowed.


The U.S. Minted Penny has been Pressed/Struck
from Different Combinations of Metal over the Years.


1909-1956 . . . . . .95% Copper & 5% Tin and Zinc.
1856–1864 . . . . . .88% Copper & 12% Nickel.
1864–1942 . . . . . .Bronze > 95% Copper & 5% Tin and Zinc.
1943 Steel Cent . . . .Zinc-Coated Steel.
1944–1946 . . . . . .Gilding Metal > 95% Copper & 5% Zinc.
1947–1962 . . . . . .Bronze > 95% Copper & 5% Tin and Zinc.
1962–September 1982. .Gilding Metal > 95% Copper & 5% Zinc.
October 1982–Present .Copper-Plated Zinc > 97.5% Zinc & 2.5% Copper.

Most Nickels are 25% Nickel and 75% Copper.
1916 – 1938 Buffalo Nickel are 25% Nickel and 75% Copper.
1942 TO 1945: the SILVER WAR NICKELS
War Nickels are 56% copper, 35% Silver, and 9% Manganese.

Our Tiny Silver Dimes.. Easier to See and Swallow.

1796 to 1837 Dimes were Composed of 89.24% Silver & 10.76% Copper.
The Silver Percentage was Increased to 90.0% with the Seated Liberty Dime.

Dimes from 1965 to the Present are Struck from a Clad Metal
Composed of Outer Layers of 91.67% Copper & 8.33% Nickel Alloy,
Bonded to a Pure Copper Core.

Today’s Quarters are “Clad,” which means Coated.
Both the Quarter and Dime have a layer of Pure Copper
inside layers of a Nickel-Copper Mix.
On the Outside of a Quarter “the Bread” is a Nickel-Copper Mixture
that is Silver in Color. The “inside Filling” is Copper.
The layers of Metal help the Coins last longer in Circulation.

A Quarter’s overall Composition is 8.33% Nickel & 91.67% Copper.

Before 1965, U.S. Quarters were made of 90 % Silver.
The U.S Mint stopped making Quarters with Silver in 1965.
U.S. 50 Cent Piece..
In 1965, the U.S. introduced layered-composition coins made of
a pure Copper Core Sandwiched between two Cupronickel Outer Faces.

The Silver Content of Dimes and Quarters was Eliminated,
but the Kennedy Half-Dollar composition contained Silver
(reduced from 90% to 40%) from 1965 to 1970.

The Kennedy Half Dollar has been struck in four different
compositions: 90% Silver, 40% Silver Clad, Copper-Nickel, Clad, and Gold.

The Kennedy Silver Half Dollar refers to Half Dollar Coins struck
by the U.S. Mint from 1964-1970.
Only the 1964-minted Coins were composed of 90% Silver.

1965 through 1969, the U.S. Mint issued a circulating Half Dollar
with 40% Silver.

What is the Metal content of the Susan B Anthony Dollar?
75% Copper, 25% Nickel, clad to a pure Copper Core.


The Information for the Penny and Dime Metal Contents
is from Wikipedia.


ENOUGH EXAMPLES: You get the Idea..
Metal is Dangerous.  NOT for Eating.. 

So is Broken Glass, Pottery and Shards of Hard Plastics.
Hardware Disease is EXTREMELY SERIOUS.
This NEEDS to be Treated ASAP – Should NOT be Ignored.

A Visit to a Veterinarian is the Only Way to Know
what can be done.. and what Treatment will Help you Pets.

If you Suspect ANY Type of Poisoning.
Treatment by your Vet may include:

A Chelating Agent which Works by Binding With
and Filtering the Heavy Metal OUT of the Body. Takes TIME !

Vitamin B Complex (Thiamine in particular) to Prevent further
Poisoning and Allow the Body Tissues to Recover.

Anti-Convulsants to Prevent Seizures.

Bulking Agents can be Fed to Assist in Removing Small Particles
from the Intestine.

Surgery under Anesthesia to Remove Large Piece of Metal.

Antibiotics to Prevent Infection while the Bird is Recovering.

Euthanasia if Surgery is not an Option.
It is Unkind to allow these Birds to Suffer and Slowly Die.


Prevention IS Better then Treatment !
Be Vigilant at Keeping their Area Free of Metal Debris..
All Human Trash has a Potential to Cause Harm.

Hardware Disease ( and/or Heavy Metal Poisoning ),
is Very Difficult to Treat, but Most is Preventable.

Metal Detectors to Clean Pond Areas of Small Pieces of Metal..
Great Idea.

Magnetic Sweepers.. WIDE Range of Prices.
Doing a Sweep for Hidden Metal may SAVE your
Chickens and Waterfowl from this Painful Condition.


A Magnetic Sweeper Pickup Tool has Limits.
U.S. Coins are NOT Attracted to Magnets.

DO NOT TOSS Money in WATER where Waterfowl Live.



THIS TOPIC PAGE was Organized.. During 2022 and 2023.
After a Sad, Tragic Death. “What did he Swallow ?”
Compiled by PA SwanLover Linda .. (c) Linda M. Sweger

My Soul is in the Sky.
— William Shakespeare,
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act V. Scene I.
THIS TOPIC PAGE will be Cross Referenced with another
TOPIC Page.. about Heavy Metal Poisoning.. Coming Soon..


February 2nd, 2023 | Posted by LadyNerkle1 in Swans Gather Nest Materials - (Comments Off on SWANs GATHERING NESTING MATERIALS)

WHAT Materials do SWANs Like for their NESTs.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

This Topic Page will be Much Like the Subject,
And Filled with Memories.


February 2nd is “Ground Hog Day.”


It is a Good Time to Start Planning for your Swans Nesting.
In Six Weeks they will be Nesting.

I Realize how often I have Attempted to Shared this Information Verbally
with Folks New to having Swans..

They are Excited to Experience Swans Nesting for the First Time..
Many want to Know “WHAT Can we DO to Help the Swans ?”
or Simply What to Expect..

Swans Gather Nest Materials

We have had the Fun of Visiting a Fair Number of Nesting Swans.
Some were Feral Wild – Most were Domestics on Private Property.
Some we had Visited Several Years..

If you can See what Natural Mute Swan Nests Looks Like..
Then you will Know what Materials to Gather for them.
Swans Gather Nest Materials

Folks in my Swan Network have Shared their Nesting Photos.
As a Result, I have Lots of Examples.. Thanks to ALL ! 

Here Goes..!

To Enlarge Images – Right Click Image then Open in a New Tab.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

Remember there are NO 100% Rules..
These are General Common Behaviors..
What I am Sharing are from our Swans Adventures.

In the Image Below.. the First Cygnet has Hatched..
Swans Gather Nest Materials

First a Basic Time Line of the Mute Swan Reproductive Season…
These General Behaviors are Similar with all Swan Species.
When they Nest during the Year will Vary.

Late Fall – Early December
The Annual Reproductive Hormones of Mute Swans are Increasing.
Pair Bonded Mute Swans will Start Courting.
Swimming Side by Side.. Sometimes Dipping their Heads..
Swans Gather Nest Materials
More Chest to Chest with Head Turning – a Display of Affection..
Swans Gather Nest Materials
The Swans will Often “Snort” with Happy Affection to Each Other.
Swans Gather Nest Materials
This is a Mature Cob ( 23 Years Old ) and a Maiden Pen ( 3 Years Old.)
This was their First Year as a Bonded Pair.
Swans Gather Nest Materials
By this TIME YOU Need to Give the Cob more Space…
Your Cob will be Protective and Aggressive..
Swans Gather Nest Materials

” NEVER Turn your Back on a Hormonal Cob ! “
DO NOT Wear White or Take White Objects when you Visit.

Never Turn Your Back on a Hormonal Male Swan

Your Cob’s Brain is NOW Controlled by his Hormones.
Swans Gather Nest Materials
Swan Cobs “Strut” and “Busk”.. Threatening..!
Get TOO Close and they will FLOG !! OUCH !

Working Around an Aggressive Swan

Swans Gather Nest Materials

GIVE him SPACE and Understanding..
He is doing the Job his Instincts Require.
Swans Gather Nest Materials
Swans are Ground Nesting Birds..
Cobs NEED to be Fierce to Protect their Female.
Pens are MOST Vulnerable while Nesting.
Swans Gather Nest Materials

Nesting Swans will Draw Attention.. The Curious Public can be a BIG Problem.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

If the Swans’ Nest is Easily Viewed by the Public..
Swans Gather Nest Materials

It is a Good Idea to Protect your Swans and their Nest.
And to Warn the Public to Keep a Safe Distance.
Swans Gather Nest Materials
The Pen will Depend on her Cob to Protect her and their Cygnets.
Swans Gather Nest Materials
to NEST on your Property.
Swans Gather Nest Materials

This Nest Needed LOTs of Coarse Dry Material..
Her Pond has Over Flowed at this Spot.. Draining Under her Nest.
Swans Gather Nest Materials

We Spent a LOT of Time with Some of these Nesting Swans..
Some Trusted us.. Some we Just had to Respect and Keep our Distance.
Swans Gather Nest Materials

You WANT your Cob to Protect their Nest !
Swans Gather Nest Materials

This Mute Pen in a Public Park is Standing over her EGGs.
Her Nest is a Huge Pile of Old Tree Leaves..
Her EGGs did not Hatch..

Swans Gather Nest Materials

Mating Activity will Begin in January..
Swans Gather Nest Materials

Mute Swans will Mate Frequently until All their EGGs
are in their Nest and Incubation has Begun.

Swans Gather Nest Materials
Early to Mid-March the Mute Swans will Select a Nesting Site..

Swans Gather Nest Materials

Sometimes the Cob Picks the Site, Sometimes the Pen Decides.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

This Pair of Mute Swans were Nesting in a Wild Feral Setting. Swans Gather Nest Materials

You will See the Pen EATING, EATING.
She will be Poking into Soft Mud for Insect Larva..

Swans Gather Nest Materials
This Supplies Protein and Calcium for her EGG Development.
It is a Good Idea to Provide a Feed Mixture with Layer Pellets
Starting in January – And again when Nesting is Over.
Female Mute Swans Eat VERY Little while “Sitting.”

Swans Gather Nest Materials

The Cob will Gather Branches and Twigs for the Base..
One Piece at a Time.. Often Tossing them Over his Shoulder.

Swans Gather Nest Materials
The Cob Swings a Twig in the Direction of the Nest,
Picks it Up AGAIN and Swings the Twig Closer to the Nest.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

It can be Interesting to Watch ALL this from a Safe Distance.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

The Cob has Claimed this Area.. and he WILL Protect it !
Swans Gather Nest Materials

The Cob will become more Protective of his Female.
Swans Gather Nest Materials

The Cob below is Guarding the First EGG in their Nest.
The Pen will NOT Spend much Time on the Nest
until she is Ready to Incubate her EGGs.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

Mute Swans Gather Lots of Twigs and Branches.. for Drainage.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

This was a Very Cute Behavior.. “Pretty Girl” was Out on the River.
It was Very Breezy.  She would Lift her Wings and “Sail” Up the River
while Singing to “Handsome Fellow.”  So Cute.
She would Turn, Float back Down River.. and Repeat..


Mute Swans will Select a Nest Site near Water..
Their Cygnets will be Taken to the Water Soon after Hatching.
The Cygnets Need Lots of Insects their First Two Weeks.

Swans Gather Nest Materials
Somehow, the Pens know where there will be LOTs of BUGs !

Swans Gather Nest Materials

It is a Good Idea to Learn about Feeding Domestic Cygnets.
So you are READY if/when they Hatch.

Feeding Swan Cygnets

Swans Gather Nest Materials

As You View these Nest Images you will see how BIG they ARE !
And the Types of Material the Mute Swans Naturally Gather.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

Many Mute Swans will Select a Place with One Protected Side..
A Tree, Large Rock, Hill, Wall, etc.
Swans Gather Nest Materials

A Protected Solid Wall in a Public Park.
Swans Gather Nest Materials
These Sister Mute Swans are Nesting with a Fence to their Back..
Their Pond is Steps Away.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

When Pens are Nesting without a Cob,
their Nests are Basically Cavity Nests.

They are Less Likely to have a BIG Twiggy Nest.
Swans Gather Nest Materials

Without a Male their EGGs will Not be Fertile.. They Still NEED to Nest !

The Link Below will Provide Helpful Information.


Female Swans without a Mature Male to Protect them are VERY Vulnerable.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

Swans Gather Nest Materials

As the BIG EGGs are Being Laid.. One Every Other Day..
The Pens will Preen Loosening Contour Feathers from her Brood Patch.
Her Brood Patch has Extra Blood Vessels to Transfer Warmth.

Swans Gather Nest Materials
This Allows her Warm Skin to get Close to Incubate her EGGs.

And this Lines the Nest Cavity with Soft Feathers.
“Feathering the Nest.”

Swans Gather Nest Materials

A Mute Swan Clutch may Vary from 3 to 9 EGGs.

Swans Gather Nest Materials
Six BIG EGGs is a Nice Average.

A Clutch of SIX EGGs takes ELEVEN Days to Complete.
A Clutch of EIGHT EGGs takes FIFTEEN Days.
Swans Gather Nest Materials

Healthy Swan EGGs can Support 25-26 Pounds of Weight Pressure.
Swans Gather Nest Materials

We were Learning.  I did Put Food Near the Nest. WRONG !
Then I Read that this is NOT a Good Idea.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

Swans Gather Nest Materials

Do your Best to Remove Hazards from the Nest Area.
Things like Ropes, Cords, Wires, Trash, etc.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

The Swans will Rarely Poop In or Near their Nest.


If you want to Assist your Swans by Gathering Materials for them…
These Examples will Give you Ideas of what they would Collect Naturally.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

If Trash is Near the Nest.. It will Likely End Up in the Nest.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

Once the Pen Starts to “SIT” Full-Time.. Incubation Begins.
Make a Note of this Date.. ! !

Swans Gather Nest Materials

Timing Swan Eggs to Hatching


The First Two Feral Mute Swan Nests we Hoped to Visit and Observe in 2006
were Flooded by Snow Melt and Heavy Spring Rains..

Swans Gather Nest Materials

The Gathered Reeds Acted as a Raft and their Nest Floated.
Until the Rising River became Swift and the Nest was Swept Away.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

Their Second 2006 Nest was OUT on an Old Crumbled Bridge Pier..
The River Flooded their Nest after several Weeks..
Swans Gather Nest Materials


In the Spring of 2007, the Swans’ Luck Changed and so did Ours.
The River did Rise within a Foot of Ruining their Nest Again.

Swans Gather Nest Materials
We had been Visiting with “Handsome Fellow” and “Pretty Girl”
for Close to Three Years.. Several Times a Week..
It was Wonderful how much Time they Allowed us to Spend with them.
Thanks to Digital Photography, we were able to Document this Adventure.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

We went to their Remote Nest along the River every Three Days..

Swans Gather Nest Materials
Watched Quietly Sitting within Feet of the Nest..
Their Nest was HUGE..

Swans Gather Nest Materials

I was Intrigued with their Relationship.. Watching the Cob being Protective.
Listening to their Muttering Vocals.. Seeing their Tender Interactions.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

The Cob would Position himself between Us and his Pen.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

The Tender and Polite Behavior between them was Surprising.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

I Learned a Great Deal during these Visits..

The Pens Incubates the EGGs at 101 Degrees.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

The Mute Cobs can Protect and Keep the EGGs Warm,
But they CAN NOT Incubate.
Swans Gather Nest Materials
These Beautiful Swans …. No Words can Express.
Swans Gather Nest Materials

It was ALL Brown and Muddy – No Greens when they Started to Nest.
With each Passing Week the River Plants Helped to Hide their Location.. Almost.
Swans Gather Nest Materials

I Calculated when the Nest might Mature.. I was Off by Two Days..
As we Walked into the Nest Site we were Greeted by the Swan Family.
Three Tiny Cygnets had Hatched from their Clutch of Six EGGs.
Swans Gather Nest Materials

After 30 Minutes along the River “Pretty Girl” headed back to the Nest,
her Tiny Cygnets close behind.. It was Nap Time..  SO Cute !

Swans Gather Nest Materials

We did not get to see them at the Nest after that Day.
The Other Three EGGs.. ??? Were Missing ???

Swans Gather Nest Materials

During the Next Visit..
We Noticed that “Handsome’s” One Wing was Broken.

Swans Gather Nest Materials
“Handsome” had Protected his Family from Someone !!
His Injury was Consistent with being Hit by a Boat Oar.
Swans Gather Nest Materials
There were So Many Perils Living Free and Feral.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

We were Not the Only People Watching the Swans.
All the Joy was about to become a Series of Sadness.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

Before the Cygnets were 2 Weeks Old, All Three would be Taken.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

Weeks Later we were Told a Person Removed the Cygnets.
All the Folks Along the River were Disappointed. Most Enjoyed the Swans.
Swans Gather Nest Materials

By Mid-July we had to Remove “Handsome Fellow” from the River.
He was Injured Several Times.. We wanted to Save him.
Swans Gather Nest Materials
We had Lots more to Learn.. ! !
And No Idea where all this would Lead. 


The Following is an Example of Poor Nesting Material.

“George” would Annually Gather a Nest
in the Corner of the Family Herb Garden.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

This Year the Nesting Material was Mostly Dry Leaves and a Few Twigs.

Swans Gather Nest Materials
“Gracie” had been Laying EGGs.. Burying them while she was Off Eating.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

The Area had Several Days of Heavy Spring Rain… Soaking the Nest.
The Dried Leaves became Soggy Mush.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

The Clutch was WET and Very Blue.. Likely Spoiled. ( They were. )

Swans Gather Nest Materials

The Swans’ Owners kept Hoping the EGGs would Hatch.. 15 Days OverDue.

We Assisted in Removing the EGGS !

Swans Gather Nest Materials

In 2014, Heavy Spring Rains Ruined their EGGs Again..
The Nest was Getting Soggy and Mushy..

Swans Gather Nest Materials

On Day 42, we Stopped to Help Remove the Smelly EGGs.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

I Suggested Next Spring the Family Give their Swans
a LARGE BUNCH of Ornamental Grasses from their Landscaping.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

Allowed to Stand and Dry Over the Winter..
Coarse Ornamental Grasses make Good Nesting Materials.
Swans Gather Nest Materials


This Older Cob, “George” was a Favorite to Visit..
While Selecting these Images I Smiled and Cried.
The Spring of 2015 he had Lots of Dry Material for their Nest.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

One Warm Spring Day, I Sat in a Safe Place and Observed “George”
as he Happily Worked with the Long Dried Grasses Left for him to Use.

Swans Gather Nest Materials
It was Wonderful to see how Happy “George” was Organizing the Stems.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

His Mate, “Gracie” was Out on the Far End of their Pond.. EATING…
Swans Gather Nest Materials
I Watched “George” Working for an Hour.  He was So Happy.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

It was Time to Go.  I Enjoyed this Show..

Swans Gather Nest Materials

As we Prepared to Leave…
I Noticed there was ONE BIG EGG in the Nest !

Swans Gather Nest Materials

We Stopped again when “Gracie” was Sitting Full-Time. 

Swans Gather Nest Materials

Now we Watch and Wait..  Sigh !
Swans Gather Nest Materials
“George” was Everything a Mute Cob should be.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

 In 2015, “George” was 28 Years Old..

Swans Gather Nest Materials

He Lived to be 30 Years Old..  I Miss “George.”


In 2015, we had Three Mature Mute Swans on a Lovely Country Pond.

All Rescued in 2009 & 2010 when Young Cygnets..
NestMate Sisters “Brooke” & “Spring.”  And Unrelated “Meadow.”
We were Very Lucky this Threesome was Happy Together.

Swans Gather Nest Materials
We wanted to Encourage the Swans to Nest on the Pond’s Island.
Over the Winter Months we Collected Lots of Fallen Tree Debris.

Swans Gather Nest Materials
The Swans Watched us for Weeks as we Put the Branches and Twigs on a Pile.

Swans Gather Nest Materials
In Early April we Started to Add Dry Ornamental Grasses.
The Swans Got the Hint !! and Did Start to Work All this into a BIG Messy Nest.

Swans Gather Nest Materials
“Meadow” was Surprisingly Tolerant of our Being Close to the Nest.

Swans Gather Nest Materials
“Brooke” is Usually the First to Nest.  “Spring” Two Weeks Later.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

BIG SMILE >> There are EGGs in the Nest !

Swans Gather Nest Materials

NOW “Meadow” was Protecting the Nest Area !!  
Time for us to Observe from a Safer Place.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

This Spring the Sisters Decided to Nest Together.
Most Years they Gathered Separate Nests..

Swans Gather Nest Materials

“Meadow” was Patrolling, Busking, Macho BIG and Doing his Job.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

Incubation is 37 Days.. Not Much Happening..

Swans Gather Nest Materials

Watching the Girls Turning their EGGs.. ALL Wings and Necks..

This was the First and LAST Time they Shared the Same Nest.
The Girls Learned it is Better to have “Your Own Nest.”

Swans Gather Nest Materials

They were Very Patient with Each Other..
And, I did Enjoy having this Photo Opportunity..

Swans Gather Nest Materials

The Girls took Turns Leaving the Nest for Short Breaks.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

“Brooke” Left the Nest on her 42nd Day.. She did Not Return.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

Sweet “Spring” had TWO More Weeks to “Sit.”

Swans Gather Nest Materials

Most of their EGGs had been Stolen by Raccoons.
Several were Unfertile and had Started to Rot.. Smelling Awful !
Several of the Replacement EGGs made from Real Swan EGGs were Missing.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

It was Time to End “Spring’s” Nesting for this Year..  So she would Start to Eat.
I Walked Slow toward her and Watched her Leave the Nest.
She went into the Water for a Break.  I had Tossed Chopped Green in the Water.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

She was Busy with the Floating Vegetables as I Removed the Last Three EGGs.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

By the Following Morning.. the Nest was Closed.
“Spring” did not Return..

Swans Gather Nest Materials

In a Few Days, we Gathered all the Nest Material for Compost.

Old Nests are Great Places for Mice, Snakes, Insects, etc.
The Old Nest Materials will Rot and Mildew..
It is Better to Start with New Nest Materials Next Year.

Swans Gather Nest Materials


The Pond below had Two Females Living Together.  No Male. 
Swans Gather Nest Materials

The Pens have their Nest Very Close to the Pond..
Swans Gather Nest Materials

They were Gathering Dried Flower Bed Debris..
Swans Gather Nest Materials

By the Time her EGGs were ALL in the Nest,
The Plants were Growing.. to Surround her.

Swans Gather Nest Materials


This Nest was Gathered by a Pen that did not have a Male
to Protect her Nest.
Swans Gather Nest Materials

Each Time she Laid an EGG it was Stolen.
The Pen can NOT Protect or Sit on her EGGs until ALL are in the Nest.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

With a Brood Pair, the Cob will Guard the EGGs until ALL are Laid.
His Body Can NOT Incubate the EGGs..

Swans Gather Nest Materials

This Proud Cob is Protecting their EGGs.
Swans Gather Nest Materials

SIX BIG BEAUTIFUL EGGs.  It is TIME to Incubate.
Swans Gather Nest Materials
Several Times a Week we would Bring a Handful of New Material
for her Nest.  “Nest Gifts” Ferns, Twigs, Dried Grasses.
Swans Gather Nest Materials
This gives the Pen Something to Do.. while she is “Sitting.”
ONLY Do this if your Swans Trust You !
Swans Gather Nest Materials
OR Put your “Nest Gifts” in a Place your Pen can See them.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

“Meadow” was 13 Years Old.. Summer 2022.

Swans Gather Nest Materials


The Mute Swan Nesting below is on a Pile of Straw.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

By the End of her Time the Nest was Very Damp and Mildewing..
None of her EGGs Hatched.
Swans Gather Nest Materials

These Trumpeter Swans had Straw for their Nest.. None of their EGGS Hatched.
Swans Gather Nest Materials

Over and Over Straw OUT in the Weather had Poor Results.

The Straw Nest Below was Sheltered from Rain.. and Cygnets HATCHED !
Swans Gather Nest Materials


In the Spring – Summer of 2009,
we had a Number of Heavy Rain Storms.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

Our Pen SAT Tight on her EGGs.. Keeping them Dry.
She Spread her Wings a Bit so the Rain Ran Around the Cavity.

Swans Gather Nest Materials
Her Nest had Good Drainage and the EGGs were Dry.
Swans Gather Nest Materials

Pens Count their EGGs before Leaving the Nest
for a Quick Break.. and Again when she Returns.
Swans Gather Nest Materials


The Young Pen below was Living Alone on her Pond.
She was Using this Stand of Dried Ornamental Grass to Create a Nest.
Swans Gather Nest Materials


This Mature Black Australian Cob liked this Raked Pile of Fall Leaves..
No EGGs, No Mate .. Just an Instinct to “Sit.”

Swans Gather Nest Materials

Black Australian Swans Nest Twice each Year.
They will Frequently use a Shelter to Nest.. ( Needs to be Secure at Night.)
Using Clean Straw is Reasonable since it will Not be Getting Wet..

Swans Gather Nest Materials

These Black Swans did Hatch Cygnets..


This Pen’s Nest is Perched on a Fallen Log.. Great Drainage.

Swans Gather Nest Materials


This is the Remains of a Swans’ Nest we found Along a Creek.
The Swan Family had Left by the Time we Learned of them.
Swans Gather Nest Materials


Semi-Wild Mute Swans Nesting on a Large Community Lake.
Swans Gather Nest Materials

Different Swan Nests from the Same Large Lake..
Swans Gather Nest MaterialsAnother Mute Swan Nest from the Same Large Lake..

Swans Gather Nest Materials

This Nest was Gathered on the Bank of a Private Pond.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

Lots of Plant Material to Gather for her Nest.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

Beautiful Mute Pens “Sitting.”

Swans Gather Nest Materials

This is a VERY COOL SHOT… THANKs Nick !
Swans Gather Nest Materials

These are Mute Swans on a Large Private Mountain Lake.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

I Love to Snap Photos..
and I have Learned many Interesting Things as I Review these Images.

Swans Gather Nest Materials


These Pens had Unfertile EGGs.  No Cygnets.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

Look Closely.. there are Tiny Cygnets.  
Swans Gather Nest Materials

Swan Photos have been Share from Far and Wide.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

The Swans Below Placed their Nest Next to Ornamental Grasses.
The Pen had a Solid Wall behind her.. and was Close to the Pond.

Swans Gather Nest Materials


We Set-up this Temporary Fencing to Help Protect a Nest Area.

There were Numbers of Foxes and People
that Moved Freely in this Semi-Public Place.
Occasionally People Walking their Unleashed Dogs..

Swans Gather Nest Materials
I was able to Find this Wooden Snow Fencing at Tractor Supply.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

We Collected a Variety of Twigs and Dried Ornamental Grasses.
Swans Gather Nest Materials

We Fed the Swans Close to the New Fencing..
Swans Gather Nest Materials

Lots of Photos were Taken on Cloudy Days.. Terrible Color..
Swans Gather Nest Materials

The Swans seemed Comfortable by the Nest Site.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

For Days we Observed “Handsome” Working inside the Fencing.
Swans Gather Nest Materials
The Swans were Mating, Mating, Mating.
Swans Gather Nest Materials
We were Sure our Plan was Working.
Swans Gather Nest Materials

A Busy Cob Arranging the Nest Materials.
Swans Gather Nest Materials

We were Enjoying Watching the Swans at this Early Stage of Nesting.
Swans Gather Nest Materials
We Expected to See EGGs in the Nest Soon..
Swans Gather Nest Materials
One Spring Morning the Swans were Gone.. !!
The Rogue Swan, “Jezebelle – Harmony” did not want to Nest by the Pond..
There were Spring Golf Carts Buzzing About, Trees were being Cut Down.
Large Trucks were Rumbling by Several Times a Day.
She had Lived Feral and wanted a More Private Place.
Swans Gather Nest Materials
Our Best Guess… the Swans Walked Down the Small Stream
that Drains the Fine and Private Place Pond.
We Found the Swans.  They Decided to Nest along a Local Creek.
Swans Gather Nest Materials

These were Two of the Swans we had Visited for Years along the River.
“Handsome Fellow” & “Sweet Harmony”  ( aka “Jezebelle” )
They had Lived Free and Feral.. They had Taken their Wild Life Back.
We Tried to Keep them Safe.. Now we had Little Control.

“Handsome Fellow’s” Previous Female “Pretty Girl” had been Shot
at the Beginning of the 2008 Canada Hunting Season..


More and More I Hear Swan Owners Planning for a Floating Platform
for the Swans to Nest on..  Pens are SO Vulnerable while Nesting.
Swans Gather Nest Materials



There are Many Types of Swan Nests.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

I Added some Dried Hydrangea Blooms just for Fun.
Swans Gather Nest Materials

The Bushy Growth of Ornament Grasses make Good Camouflage.
Swans Gather Nest Materials

“Meadow” had Fun Play-Hiding under the Tall Grasses..
Swans Gather Nest Materials


LOCATION is Also a Factor for a Swan Nest.

Their Nests are Close to Water.
Along a Creek or River Flooding is a Problem.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

We Watch the Swans Living Wild-Feral Lose most of their Nests.
Swans Gather Nest Materials
These Swans were Flooded Twice in Spring 2009.
They Surprised us by Gathering a Third Nest.
Adding MORE Mud Under the Twigs..
Swans Gather Nest Materials

“Harmony” laid Four Eggs for her Third Early Summer Clutch.
One was Stolen… Three Hatched July 14-15th..
Two Cygnets Died in the Nest.. The One Surviving Cygnet is our “Meadow.”

Swans Gather Nest Materials
The Nest was SO HIGH.. that it Took the Tiny Cygnet quite a while to Climb
UP into the Nest the Very First Time..  “Harmony” Called him from the Top.
“Handsome” Encouraged and Guided his Little Legs from below.
Swans Gather Nest Materials
While the Swans were Out on the Creek with Little “Meadow”
We Added Mulch Type Material for a Soft Easy Ramp.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

One of the Adult Swans would Check the Nest
before the Cygnet Waddled Up for his Naps.

Swans Gather Nest Materials
Each Time we Witnessed the Swans Returning to their Nest,
One of the Adults would Approach the Nest and Check for any Danger
before Allowing the Cygnet to Scamper Up.
Swans Gather Nest Materials
The Swan Family Used the Nest for Four Days and Nights..
The Fifth Morning, “Handsome” Stood for a Very Long Time
Studying the Nest.. Watching.. Listening.
He did not Allow the Family to Return.. Instead Closed the Nest.
Swans Gather Nest Materials
I have Witnessed Several Cobs do this.. Check the Nest One Last Time.
Place a Few Twigs in the Cavity.. and Leave for the Season..
Reminds me of Closing Up a Summer Home and Leaving.
Swans Gather Nest Materials
The Swan Family headed off along the Creek..
“Thank You” to ALL the Home Owners along the Creek
Who Allowed us to Visit with the Swans along their BackYard Water’s Edge.
Swans Gather Nest Materials
These Swan Sagas are Long and Winding..

In the End..  We had to Rescue Little “Meadow” at Five Weeks Old,
a Snapping Turtle Severely Damaged his One Foot.

In November 2009, “Sweet Harmony” was Shot..
“Handsome Fellow” Disappeared at the End of January  2010.
We Never Learned his Fate.

“Meadow” was in our Care at our Home for Nine Months.
Swans Gather Nest Materials
There are Many Chapters to our Swan Stories from then to Now..


YES, Back to Water, Water Everywhere !  AND Nest Examples.
Swans Gather Nest Materials
Spring Rains Often Spoil EGGs.
Swans Gather Nest Materials

Another Reason EGGs are Spoiled.. COLD Spring Weather !
Snow and Freezing Temperatures when they Nest Early.
Swans Gather Nest Materials
Out in the Elements.. Many EGGs Freeze and Crack..  DISCARD These.
Swans Gather Nest Materials

When Cygnets Hatch in Cold Weather, they Need a Dry Nest
for their Dam to Keep them Warm.
Tiny Cygnets can NOT Thermo-Regulate..

Swans Gather Nest Materials
They Need the Warmth of the Adult Swans.


It is Wonderful when the Swans are Safe.

Swans Gather Nest Materials

With Your Planning and some Luck.. 

Swans Gather Nest Materials

This is the Goal of Nesting Swans..  Tiny Cygnets..
Swans Gather Nest Materials

Thanks for Allowing me to Ramble about Some of Our Swan Adventures. 

I am about Finished.

This Topic Page is Being Uploaded with Images we have Gathered
Over the Years we were OUT and About Visiting Swans.
THANKS to ALL who Shared their Swans with Us..
PA SwanLover Linda M. Sweger         February 2023


November 5th, 2022 | Posted by LadyNerkle1 in DEADLY AVIAN INFLUENZA - (Comments Off on DEADLY AVIAN INFLUENZA is ON the WING.)

Here in Pennsylvania

If you suspect HPAI in your BackYard Flock ( Swans ), contact:

  • Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) emergency number:   ( 717 ) 772-2852
    • (press option 1 to reach the veterinarian on call)
  • United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) toll-free hotline at   1  ( 866 ) 536-7593


This is a Topic that I Hoped I would Never NEED to Post to SwanLovers.net

Click Images to Enlarge.

I am going to Post a Basic Summary here as of November 2022

InterChangeable Terms:
Avian Influenza – Bird Influenza – Avian Flu – Bird Flu.

Every Spring for the Past 12-15 Years, I have Scanned
the Internet for Articles Posted about Positive Avian Influenza Cases.
I made Note of which U.S. States had Positive Cases.

Outbreaks are all too Common in Other Countries..


Avian Influenza Outbreaks are Increasing around the World.
During the Opening Weeks of 2022, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE)
found a Total of 317 New Outbreaks in Poultry were Reported by 25 Countries and Territories:


Europe is having Large Outbreaks in Wild, Domestic Birds and their Poultry Industry.

European Countries are Culling many Millions of Birds trying to Control the Spread..

HPAI A(H5N1) is One of the most Contagious Viruses occurring among Birds.
Infected Wild Birds on their Migratory Route are the Main Way that these
Viruses are Spreads. Birds Shed Avian Influenza A Viruses
in their Saliva, Nasal Secretions, and Fecal Waste.

Hundreds of Species of Bird and Waterfowl Carry these Viruses.
There are Numerous Strains of Avian Influenza.. Appx. 144 are Possible.
Some are Mild.. but, the Deadly Strains are Just that.. Deadly.

More CDC Information if you Want to Read it..

Until this Year, it has been a Rarity for the Avian Influenza Virus to be Found
in the Northeastern United States.  Pennsylvania is in the Atlantic Flyway.

FLYWAYs 4 North American Migration Zone

No Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Viruses had been
detected in Pennsylvania since the 1983-84 Outbreak.

*************** This Warning was Issued in Early 2022.AVIAN INFLUENZA

In January 2022, the Virus was First Detected along the Atlantic Flyway in South Carolina.
As the 2022 Spring Bird Migration moved North Numerous States along the East Coast
Reported Positive Cases in Wild Birds and Several BackYard Flocks.

WildLife Organizations had to Turn Away Sick and Injured Birds Fearing their
Facilities would be Contaminated and Sicken or Kill the Birds Currently in their Care.

Avian Influenza

By March 25, 2022 Millions of Birds in at least 17 States were being Rapidly Killed
in a Determined Attempt to bring a Dangerous Strain of Avian Flu under Control.