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When do Swans remove the eggs if not fertile?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Our pair laid started laying their very first set of eggs 9 days ago.  The eggs were being laid when we were having below normal temps and the final one was laid last Friday when the female had begun laying on the nest full time.    This morning I see both male and female on the pond so check the nest and there are 0 eggs. ( there were 4)  I realize that things happen and have heard of other animals getting to the nest however I am doubting that was the case.  My main question is that I have read that the Swans will remove eggs if they are not fertile or will leave the nest themselves.  But how do they know early on if the eggs are not fertile, I had read that they will not feel movement and they will remove or move from the nest but I assume that would not happen within a few days?  Also do they eat the egg, shell and all?     One last question, in most cases will they mate again this season due to this time being unsuccessful.   Thanks!

post #2 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by luvswans View Post
 

Our pair laid started laying their very first set of eggs 9 days ago.  The eggs were being laid when we were having below normal temps and the final one was laid last Friday when the female had begun laying on the nest full time.    This morning I see both male and female on the pond so check the nest and there are 0 eggs. ( there were 4)  I realize that things happen and have heard of other animals getting to the nest however I am doubting that was the case.  My main question is that I have read that the Swans will remove eggs if they are not fertile or will leave the nest themselves.  But how do they know early on if the eggs are not fertile, I had read that they will not feel movement and they will remove or move from the nest but I assume that would not happen within a few days?  Also do they eat the egg, shell and all?     One last question, in most cases will they mate again this season due to this time being unsuccessful.   Thanks!


I am no expert on swans.  I rather think that a night-time predator filched the eggs.  I have heard people say that their birds( chickens, geese, whatever) remove infertile or nonviable eggs from their nest. In 40 years I have never had a bird remove their own egg/s from the nest other than accidentally. A guess (based on geese)-the season is early and your pair may try again. I do not think that birds know their eggs are infertile in that most will happily brood white rocks, golf balls, light bulbs. and anything else remotely egg shaped. Eat egg and shell-YES. But not always. I doubt the pair is responsible for the disappearance of their eggs.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your reply but I am kindly going to disagree due to reading much information from the Swan Specialist on the website Swans of Stanley park.    Here it is mentioned that Swans can indeed tell when a clutch or eggs will not hatch and reports of Swans removing the eggs but I do agree it makes no sense?  Possibly they will sit on a " golf ball" for a very short time?      Here is a copy and past from the Regal Swan,   "In any case, swan parents know when something is wrong with eggs and will not spend any unnecessary time tending to eggs that have no viable chance of hatching. The Regal Swan" http://www.stanley-park-swans.com/cgi-bin/ask/index.pl?read=4282

 

It is possible that a racoon or fox got all the eggs overnight but it is doubtful.  Our pen was diligently sitting over the nest and even gave our Labrador Retriever a peck the other day when he got too close and she's quite used to him and will normally let him get close to her.  I would think she would put up a big fight for something to get one egg let along 4.  Also it rained heavily and I see no signs of other animal tracks.  

 

This is quite a mystery and we will hope they mate again this season.

post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by luvswans View Post

Thank you for your reply but I am kindly going to disagree due to reading much information from the Swan Specialist on the website Swans of Stanley park.    Here it is mentioned that Swans can indeed tell when a clutch or eggs will not hatch and reports of Swans removing the eggs but I do agree it makes no sense?  Possibly they will sit on a " golf ball" for a very short time?      Here is a copy and past from the Regal Swan,   "In any case, swan parents know when something is wrong with eggs and will not spend any unnecessary time tending to eggs that have no viable chance of hatching. The Regal Swan" http://www.stanley-park-swans.com/cgi-bin/ask/index.pl?read=4282

It is possible that a racoon or fox got all the eggs overnight but it is doubtful.  Our pen was diligently sitting over the nest and even gave our Labrador Retriever a peck the other day when he got too close and she's quite used to him and will normally let him get close to her.  I would think she would put up a big fight for something to get one egg let along 4.  Also it rained heavily and I see no signs of other animal tracks.  

This is quite a mystery and we will hope they mate again this season.

I truly wish you luck on this. And wish I knew more of swans.
post #5 of 5
This is a mystery haha. I wanna say for 4 eggs if anythung got to them there would have been shells and you would have noticed it. The swan could have gotten rid of them because of the temperature but she wouldn't have moves them so far that you wouldn't see it unless they put it in the water if you have a pond or something. Possble the male got to them, idk haha. Post an update if you figure it out!
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