MUTE SWAN BREEDING SEASON DRAMA STARTING ALREADY

Discussion in 'Ornamental Fowl (Swans, etc.)' started by scratch'n'peck, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    We have eight swans all together, which includes two breeding pairs and a male who has decided he is ready to romance a potential mate. Up here in Michigan there is only so much water we can keep from freezing over so the swans don't spread out much this time of year. This means there are a lot of swan chases. The oldest male (Sid) chases the other mated male (Swagger) and he manages to get over the fence. He doesn't go far, because his mate is still in the fenced pond area. In the mean time the two and a half year old male (Mr. Hiss) tries to romance his mate. The first thing Swagger does once I get him back to the pond area is chase the young upstart for flirting with his mate!
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    Even before Sid's hormones kicked in he kept patrol of the pond. He would share is with his mate and their two cygnets from this past summer and he doesn't mind the geese in the pond.
    [​IMG]

    The other swans were relegated to the culvert in the back ground, which isn't bad because it is just as deep as this man made pond. Now that Sid's hormones have geared up, though, he is chasing those other male swans around the fenced area.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. josebeth1

    josebeth1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our Samson, too, is getting into full gear--and this year, Delilah's acting pretty aggressive as well. Honestly, you can tell the time of year just by their behavior. I will never tire of the whole long and involved process--we've only got one pair and a small pond, but it truly is a show every year.

    So this is when all the mallards (averaging about 50-60 who hang out here for the open water thanks to a large aerator) suddenly aren't allowed to be here anymore. I kind of feel sorry for them to be so suddenly chased away, but it's certainly a relief to not have them gobbling up and competing for the now very-expensive feed!!
     
  4. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    Now that we have the arctic air settle in again, the swans have chilled out and their hormones are not raging for the time being. It's funny; most of my geese stand up to my swans. It is not until the female is nesting that the geese will be chased away, but the geese mostly are smart enough to stay away from the swan nest.
     
  5. elsfieldchickens

    elsfieldchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    lovely birds
     
  6. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

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    Know nothing about swans.. but am really curious, that one- I assume female? has a different beak color. It's almost as if the picture has both color and b/w in it.. Is that a normal sex difference? I'd assumed swans were extremely similar in color between sexes..?

    Beautiful birds. Wish I was able to keep them or certain waterfowl(some shelducks are just so appealing)- unfortunately it's desert and water not cheap here!
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013
  7. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    The one with the lighter bill is one of the cygnets born this past spring. Their bills started out grey when they hatched, and it takes over a year for them to develop the adult orange bill color. It is actually pretty challenging to tell the adult swans apart. We put numbered band on their legs (right leg for males, left leg for females). But when I am standing nest to their pond watching them, I usually tell them apart based on their behavior towards each other and me.


    We have wetlands in our back yard so it is well suited for water fowl, but we fence them in a limited area so their off spring does not go feral and become a nuisance. Here is the mother swan with her cygnets last April in their culvert area.

    [​IMG]

    Here is the family are a couple months later.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. elsfieldchickens

    elsfieldchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    nice birds
     
  9. josebeth1

    josebeth1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hudson, OH
    In addition to the age of the bird affecting the bill color (our youngster, now 9 months old, still has a very gray bill), there can also be a difference depending on whether the bird is a Royal (or English) mute or a Polish mute. The Royal mutes have more intense pigmentation in bill, legs, and feet.
    Our male is Royal, therefore his bill is a an orange color that is more intense and his legs/feet are black. Our female is Polish, and her bill looks a little washed out next to his while her legs/feet are a yellowish gray color.
    Just a little more FYI..........

    And ours have also settle down again re; the pre-breeding aggression. At the moment, I just counted 70+ mallards and our "resident" single wood duck on the pond--again! And I wonder why we're getting eaten out of house and home. Sigh.......[​IMG]
     
  10. kitmarlowescot2

    kitmarlowescot2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 25, 2011
    Pretty Swans, I was curious will Sid chase his offspring from last spring as well ? Or the parents still somewhat protective over them ? Also will the young adult cygnets help raise their sibslings since they aren't exactly adults yet ?
     

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