Swan Update

It has been a long time for the Widewater pen to be sitting on her eggs and I know that many people feel concerned for her. This is the first time in 13 breeding years that things haven’t gone smoothly for them though they have had ups and downs along the way.

As so much time has passed and the pen is showing no signs of leaving the nest yet I decided to have a chat about it with the Swan sanctuary where I volunteer.

As always, I was given excellent advice based on their many years of working with Swans. There are two possible reasons for this extended sitting time.

One: The eggs are infertile. We know that the cob is an older Swan and that with age comes infertility. If this is the case, the pen will eventually give up and leave the nest but it can take time especially if she has had many successful breeding years previously.

Two: This is a second clutch. If for some reason, Swans lose their eggs they will lay a second clutch. There’s no way of knowing if this is the case or not as we can’t watch them 24/7 ( though Dave Wilson does an excellent job of keeping watch during the day! ) Things may happen during the night such as predation. If she has laid a second clutch then incubation would take a lot longer.

I don’t want to give false hope though, the eggs may not hatch at all. Time will tell and in the meantime we must leave the Swans to do what they do, when they are ready. Please be reassured that the pen is in good condition. Dave reports her regularly having time out in the lagoon to wash and preen and feed whilst the cob takes over on the eggs.

We must wait and see what happens next. As I said before, their story will unfold.

by Jo Procter