Ask the Swan Specialist

Re: Mute Swan Bubbler Question: Keeping the swan safe from the foxes
By:The Regal Swan
Date: 20 February 2014

Hi Elizabeth and Lynne:

We are so sorry about the loss of your swan. But, unfortunately, accidents happen and you cannot foresee every possibility of what can happen. The only way to secure a swan from predators is either by penning them (completely enclosed 1/2 in water and 1/2 on land with feeder inside) to prevent predators from digging under the pen or climbing over the pen.

Penning in water does nothing to help swans in severe weather. They must be sheltered from the cold, wind, sleet, ice, rain and snow. So, the only option is to place the birds in a pen in a shed, garage or barn. Again, safe from predators accessing the shelter. Because this winter has been so extreme, it would have been almost impossible to predict how bad this winter could have been. Therefore, the use of an aerator/de-icer would have been the only option outside of an indoor shelter. In a 23 acre lake, it would be almost impossible to keep an open waterway for any great distance or size. Therefore, the swan could still be accessed by predator, fall through the ice, or fail to keep warm and dry. Although there are no words that can bring solace, please understand that bringing the swan indoors was the only humane thing you could have done, so you did the right thing. You did everything you could do in this situation. The Regal Swan