Swan Stories Worldwide

How To Make A Swan Nest
By:damian <damorobo@gmail.com>
Date: 27 October 2008

My family and I live on a cattle property in NSW, Australia. We irrigate pasture by using water from our Dam. This winter we found that as the water had gone down on the Dam (we've been in drought for 7 years) a small Island was created in the middle of the dam. A pair of Black Swans took this opportunity to build a nest in what to them seemed like a safe place, surrounded by water, away from preditors. Unfortunately as the dam started to refill the nest came in danger of being swamped. We all decided we had to do something to help.....but what?

We found your site and others on the web and read some valuable info. on how to attempt a floating nest. By the time we got our construction underway the nest was partially submerged and we didn't have much hope for a happy ending but as you can see one chick was born!

The design is simple: We used a discarded pallet and tied 4 empty contained into the bottom, in the 4 corners. As the vessel had to give access to the swans and chicks while afloat and beached we made 2 stairways with hinges and under these we attached floating foam to keep everything stable. We tied the vessel to 4 star pickets hammered into the bottom of the dam. We tied some wood onto the top of the pallet to hold the nest in place.

In hindsight the biggest issue was trying to get the nest onto the pallet as quickly as possible and move away so as not to freak out the swan. It was heartbreaking watching her swim around her eggs from a distance, too suspicious to go too near. We did the move early in the morning on the first sunny day so as to give the eggs a fighting chance before the swan got back on which eventually she did.

The happy ending to this story is that the swan is now back on the nest as I write and has been incubating a load of new eggs. I've read that swans will reuse a nest over and over if they feel safe so we've acheaved our goal. We check the nest a couple of times a week and are looking forward to the new arrivals.

Messages In This Thread

How To Make A Swan Nest -- damian -- 27 October 2008
Where could I photograph Muted Swans in Southern California -- Claudia -- 6 January 2009
Re: Where could I photograph Muted Swans in Southern California -- Shelby -- 26 August 2015