The Strange World of Swans
Here is Will and Guy's collection of stories, accounts and humour featuring British swans.
A Swan named 'Mr Asbo' has his wings clipped to prevent his return
An aggressive swan nicknamed Mr Asbo has had his wings clipped to prevent him returning to his Cambridge home. He and his mate were moved 60 miles (96km) away from the River Cam (Cambridgeshire, England) after his attacks on rowers escalated.
River managers who oversaw the relocation told us that clipping was normal to prevent the swans flying back, while they adjusted to their new site. They added that it was a temporary measure and the clipped wings would be replaced by fresh flying feathers in the autumn.
The swans were moved to a sanctuary outside the county under licence from Natural England, at the end of April.
*ASBO Anti-social Behaviour Order.
A spokesman for Natural England informed us that it was satisfied the swans' relocation had been successful. He added, 'They seem very happy there. It's very quiet with nothing to disturb them. I don't think Mr Asbo will be going anywhere.'
In bygone times we could not only have killed the swan but stuffed it with all these other birds.
Here is a problem: swans choose their partner for life. A Black Australian swan nicknamed Petra has fallen in love with a pedal boat, which looks like a swan. When winter came Petra stayed with boat rather than flying south. This could have been fatal for Petra when the cold weather arrived.
In the end though local zoo chiefs took pity on the swan and gave her and her boat boyfriend a place to spend the winter, and this week the pair were once again on the lake together. According to biologists in Muenster, north-western Germany, Petra has been circling its plastic lover, staring endlessly at it and making crooning noises, all the typical signs of a swan in love.
'I was ambushed by a swan. I was fishing on a small river in Dorset when it swam past me, going upriver. I naturally stopped what I was doing until it was some 30m further on, and started casting downstream. But every time I looked upriver it seemed to be closer. Finally, when the current had pushed it to within 15m, it turned around and flew at me. It was a terrifying and humbling moment. All I could think was to run, but I had a steep bank with nettles behind me and scrambling up it in a panic left me with a face full of stings.'
Maggie and Paula were playing golf when a bird flew overhead.
Male swans are highly territorial and first threaten intruders, striking an aggressive pose with wings arched over their back, before charging at them to chase them off.
Mute swans aggressively defend nests in springtime, and have been known to attack people using the rivers, like rowers, kayakers and anglers. But reports of injuries are rare and they are not usually strong enough to break a human limb.
I don't think Tchaikovsky had this choreography in mind when he wrote "Swan Lake". How could anyone imagine a performance you are about to witness?
With a population of nearly 1.5 Billion, the Chinese had to locate one great dancer ... and they did. Watch this superb swan performance.
Throughout England the swan is protected from hunting and shooting, indeed the only person who is allowed to kill these birds is the Queen (or King).
In 2009 our present Queen Elizabeth II visited the annual Swan Upping census on the river Thames, near Windsor, England. This was the first time in living memory that the monarch had visited the Thames to watch the swan-uppers count her swans.
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