Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Mute Swan Rules OK !

The Pair of Mute Swan on the section of  marsh between the beach causeway and British Rail main line are fine birds and worthy of the territory that they command,  Often described as tame or semi-domestic the Mute Swan's aggressive territorial behaviour is anything but.  Today I witnessed this aggression towards a young male Swan that made the mistake of landing within their territory.

The powerful male swan pictured above chased down the young inexperienced swan both in the air and eventually along the ground of the warren at the front of the marsh,  This larger, stronger and more experienced resident bird hounded the young bird until it was cornered up against the causeway boundary wall.
At this point it set about the young bird jabbing and biting at its head and trampling over its body,  The young bird made little or no attempt to fight back other than trying to escape only to be trampled and jabbed again for several minutes at which time I could not stand by and watch this one sided attack any longer,  Running along the causeway I intervened and separated the birds,  The youngster made another bid to escape and fly off but was to shocked and exhausted to make it off the ground

The resident male took advantage and went straight back on the attack finally catching the youngster 100 yards back along the warren close to my original camera position,  I tried to wait it out to see how things developed but the young bird was taking a beating and fading fast,
The young bird eventually stopped stuggling and the resident male had started continuous jabbing at its head,  I feared for its life and perhaps rightly or wrongly I interfered in this one sided battle once again, 
Thirty minutes later the resident male was patrolling back on the water 50 meters or so away and the young swan still sat looking shocked and beaten on the warren,  I had to go but felt uneasy and feared that the show of  territorial aggression that I had just witnessed would erupt again before the young swan had recovered enough to escape.  'Nature in the raw'

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