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Are Swans Friendly?

Are Swans Friendly?

One of the World’s most aggressive species is swans, especially during nesting and raising young. Swans don’t allow any other waterfowl species to come closer to their territory and keep native waterfowl away from their nest. If waterfowl species come too closer to their nest they displace native waterfowl by attacking and injuring them. Swans are also very aggressive toward humans and will attack them especially little children, who get close to their nest or young.

Swans can also attack watercraft that come too close to their territories. The DNR gets reports of swan attacks on people in watercraft and on shore. These situations get really horrible, as the population of swans grows, so do the conflicts. at these times it is best to avoid swans because there is a good chance they will attack you, seeing you as a predator or being protective of the nest, young, or eggs.

Are Swans Friendly 

No, swans are not friendly at all, especially during nesting and brood rearing. Swans show aggression towards other waterfowl. They displace native waterfowl from their feeding and nesting areas by attacking, injuring, and even killing birds. Nesting swans can be very aggressive towards humans as well, they will attack humans who come too close to their territory.

Why Do Swans Attack Humans?

Usually, swans do not attack without any reason, they only attack humans when they either get too near their nests or cygnets. Swans are overprotective towards their young like humans or any other species. They are not always that way. Swans are adorable birds and very graceful to watch in non-mating season. They are quite sociable and may behave friendly with humans. It often depends on whether they wish to be truly wild or willing to accept human contact, which can depend on food availability and survival instinct.

How To Be a Friend With A Swan

Swans are not always aggressive, they are only aggressive in the breeding season. In non-breeding season swans are quite friendly and can be good friends of humans. You can become friends with a swan family in three simple steps mentioned below:

1. Alluring Your Swans

If you want a swan to behave friendly with you then you need a gentle swan and don’t go too near to swan. To get swan’s attention wave them from the required distance and say loudly “come I have food for you” it will surely work.

2. Feeding Swans

 you have to make some efforts to make swans friendly towards you. Once you get the attention of your chosen swan, offer swans plenty of food namely peas or any other swan-friendly food. Swans are hungry and you want plenty of food to befriend them over a couple of weeks.

3. Stick Around Swans

 Give swans some time, feed them so they can recognize you, and become friendly with you. Once swans become your friend they will come to you and hiss at you to feed them. They will appear in hungry swan faces, stare at you until you provide them food.

Mute Swans And Humans

Mute swans were known as “birds royal” for centuries because only the king and a few special subjects could keep them. Swans were often served and roasted at feasts. A larger plate was required for a swan’s roast. The flight feather from the female swan was used as writing implements then known as ‘pen quills’ and later as ‘quill pens’ until the ‘quill’ was left out and only the word ‘pen’ remained. Today they are named as ballpoints etc, the word ‘pen’ is taken from the female swan.

The population of a mute swan has fluctuated over the last 30-40 years. Swans live in rivers where coarse fishing is quite popular and die because they feed lead fishing weights with their food. Lead is very poisoning that’s why since 1987, the use of lead weights has been banned in the UK and the swan’s population has recovered. Another danger for swans is poorly discarded fish hooks and lengths of nylon fishing lines. Both can cause swan to suffer a horrible death.

Swans Aren’t Eco-friendly 

There are three main issues with mute swans that are mentioned below:

1. Mute Swans Endanger Native Wildlife

mute swans are the world’s most aggressive birds especially while nesting and raising their young. Mute swans displace native waterfowl from their nests by attacking them. mute swans will chase native breeding birds from their nests.

2. Destruction Of Wetland Habitat

Mute swans feed on aquatic plants such as pondweed, wild rice, waterweed, and wild celery. A single mute swan can consume four to eight pounds of plants per day and often uproot more plants than they actually consume. The wetland plants that mute swans are removing play an important role in aquatic ecosystems by providing both food and cover to a variety of vertebrates and invertebrate species. Many wildlife and fish species feed on animals that live in these plants. Continuous feeding by a flock of mute swans can destroy an entire wetland ecosystem.

3. Mute Swan Threatens Humans

Mute swans are enormous birds that have little fear of humans. The DNR gets reports of mute swans attacking people in boats and on shores. Mute swans are aggressive and may harm humans if they come close to their eggs or nest.


Honestly, the mute swans are not aggressive, they are defensive. They protect their nests and young just as humans or other species would but they are not aggressive by nature. It is not a good idea to come near a male swan in the mating season because they are fiercely protective of their own and would die to save them. Swans are not friendly as Canada geese but in their own way seem to like people. To conclude, in nesting season swans get extremely hostile towards anything that comes near to their nests or eggs. Swans are really sociable in the non breeding season, they don’t harm people and can be friends with you. You have to do some efforts for gaining a swan as a friend.

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