A Conversation for Swan Upping on the Thames

Swan attacks.

Post 1


I've never liked swans. The way they hiss, and those bites really hurt! Once when a street near us had been flooded, we had a fun expedition along the drowned street - only to be greeted by a 'guard swan' hovering by someone's garage who leaped out at us as we passed so we nearly toppled over backwards. Seriously scary, bad-tempered birds - I don't envy those swan handlers.

Swan attacks.

Post 2

kelli - ran 2 miles a day for 2012, aiming for the same for 2013

Me either - there are some on the pond outside work and they frequently frighten people away from the bus stop there!

Swan attacks.

Post 3

aka Bel - A87832164

A swan once tried to bite me in my leg when I was a child- I've been afraid of swans ever since. I smiley - love the look of them, they're majestic and very beautiful - from the far smiley - laugh
Great entry Kelly, I really enjoyed reading it smiley - ok

Swan attacks.

Post 4


You just need to know how to 'talk bird'. A couple hours ago I came across one of our swans sitting in the middle of the street. Thinking it was the yearling that had gotten separated from its parents, I went to shoo it back to the pond. When it reared up, hissing and spreading its wings, I'd realised that it was the older male (his head came up to my shoulder!). Oops. I just spread my arms wide and kept walking slowly toward him. After a few tense seconds, he turned and headed to the pond, letting me know exactly what he thought of me the whole way. smiley - smiley

In my experience, these large birds are used to being able to intimidate humans. When you don't back off, they're unsure of themselves. And spreading your arms/wings is bird language for 'I'm prepared to take you on'. I've only been nipped once by a female swan when I got too close to her babies while they were eating; it didn't really hurt much and I figure she was entitled to protect her young. I've also had male Canada geese come after me when I got too close to their nests, but I was always so happy to see them up close that they stopped and backed off (again I failed to behave as they expected, so they decided to rethink their options). smiley - winkeye

(If you can't tell, yes, I love birds.)

Swan attacks.

Post 5

aka Bel - A87832164

I love birds, too, even swans smiley - winkeye But you know that it's not easy to overcome childhood fears. I'd never evet go swimming in a lake with swans in it - they'd scare me even more than ashore smiley - yikes

Swan attacks.

Post 6


Same thing happened to me when I was two, except it was a goose. Still, awfully pretty from a distance. good entry! smiley - smiley

Swan attacks.

Post 7


I understand about childhood fears; it's dogs for me. smiley - bigeyes I'd also hesitate to swim around swans - they're in their element in water, but humans are at a disadvantage. 'Course they don't know that, so I suppose you could fake 'em out with aggressive body language, but I wouldn't want to test that theory unless it was absolutely necessary.

The big male swan that I shooed back to the pond yesterday isn't a happy boy right now. It's almost mating season, so he's been harrassing his offspring from last year, trying to drive the youngster away. Mama swan isn't having any of it, though, and keeps chasing the older male away. No wonder he's annoyed with the world right now. smiley - winkeye

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