Ask the Swan Specialist

Winter Care - Captive or Wild Swans
By:The Regal Swan
Date: 7 February 2007
In Response To: WInter Care for Swans on Lake (Audra)

Hi Audra:

Thanks for the question. It would help us to know a little more about the area that you are located, state, country, etc., because we would be able to offer possible alternative solutions. But, with the information that you have provided, we will try to give a general idea of what might be advised.

First, a swan's body temperature is 106 F. This is probably why they are staying in the water. As cold as this may seem, the outside temperature is usually much colder than water temperature. If the swans had no water, this would be a grave concern, not only for body temperature but as well as a source of water.

Food is a major concern in this instance. Someone needs to provide the swans with nutrition. Offer them cracked corn and layer pellets, lettuce and bread. Supplemental feeding is extremely crucial in the winter as well as all captive settings. Does anyone in the area know where the swans originated? Is there anyone looking after them? What is the species of swan.. Mute orange beak, trumpeter black beak, tundra black beak with yellow spot (lore) around the eye, whooper, (only if you are in eastern europe/asia yellow/black beak), bewick-(same info similar as the whooper). This information would also help us know if they are captive or indigenous swans. If they are wild/native, there may not be much to do except provide extra food and monitor the water situation. Approaching them may cause them to fly, but if they are captive and have been pinioned (wings clipped), you may be able to lure them onto the bank with food and capture them. Then, you would need to house them indoors for the winter. Unless you have a facility or professional such as a wildlife rehabilitator, this will be a daunting process. If they are wild, they may be a protected species, i.e., trumpeter and you would need a state/federal permit. Without much other information, I'm not sure that we can be of more assistance. The biggest concern is that they maintain their water source and have supplemental food provided. We hope that this information is of benefit. If you can provide us with more information, it would be great. The Regal Swan

Messages In This Thread

WInter Care for Swans on Lake -- Audra -- 7 February 2007
Winter Care - Captive or Wild Swans -- The Regal Swan -- 7 February 2007