Tag Archives: Trumpeter Swans

Wiping Out a Species Mute Swans

Wiping Out a Species Mute Swans

Friday 25 February 2011

Species at risk

There are a species at risk everywhere in the World . Recently I have been communicating with a reader in the United States that has  many concerns that will affect our swan “Mute Swan”  population in Canada also.

I can understand the frustration when the Government involvement and special interest groups, and people that can sleep at night after slaughtering an innocent animal, anyone that  can influence the disposal of a species.Trumpeter swans are Native to Canada as the Tundra swan.Mute swans were brought into Canada in 1958. Understanding  Mute swans were introduced to the US much before Canada.What happens in the US usually happens in Canada  As site coordinator Karen has been emailing me since this  article Michigan-to-ban-wildlife-rehabbers-helping-mute-swans Thursday February 10 2011, I hope this brings attention to a nonsensical killing by brutal THUGS

Method of cull the Mute Swans:   (1) Shooting, (2) Bagging and either clubbing to death or stepping on their long necks while in bags. (3) removal to another area.
U.S. Laws – difficulty:  There is a different law for each of the 50 states – no blanket law as in Canada.
Canada:  Mute Swans currently are protected, but it is being considered to remove them from protection, because of overpopulation and interference with Trumpeter Swans.

Doug Worrall




Beautiful Mute swans
Caring providers
Non Breeding mute swan

On January 13, 2011, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources presented a proposal for Mute Swan Management to the Natural Resource Commission. Their proposal not just denies the waterfowl rehabilitator to take in any injured mute swans, but it also will force them to render any mute swans they have in their possession. These swans will be killed.

Beautiful Swannee
Swannee’s Mate

Most waterfowl rehabilitators take care of these animals on their own time and money. They choose to take care of them because they feel it’s not the animals fault when they get injured due to careless fishermen that leave their lures, bobbers, hooks , empty worm cans and fishing line behind, or when an animal gets hit by a boat, car, or jet ski. That’s not “survival of the fittest” or “let nature take its course”. It’s called human error, and they should be able to care for these animals.

On February 10, 2011, The NRC voted 3 to 2, that even though the average number of mute swans that the rehabilitators take in in one year is only about 40 swans, they did not feel that the rehabilitators should care for what The DNR calls “a non-native, invasive species” that they are working on removing from all state land and eventually public and private lakes.

Also proposed in their management plan was the reduction of the mute swan population from 15,000 to 2,000 swans. “The Mute Swan Management and Control Program Policy and Procedures contains a goal to reduce the mute swan population to zero on DNRE lands. We will continue management activities to reach that goal.” -Barbara Avers, DNR Waterfowl and Wetlands Person.

During the presentation, they neglected to say how they expect to do this. When asked, the “DNR person” admitted that they would be lethally shooting them through permits on public and private land. This would begin before the end of 2011. According to the August Mute Swan Forum Minutes, the swans will be tossed in landfills. Please e-mail us if you would like a copy of these extremely interesting minutes that lay out how they plan to carry out this inhuman management plan.


COPY and paste this in your browser window  please sign the petition http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-the-killing-of-mute-swans-in-michigan<<Thanking you in advance

Uncertain time



Doug Worrall Photographer




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Michigan To Ban Wildlife Rehabbers Helping Mute Swans

Michigan is expected to ban wildlife rehabbers from helping injured mute swans

Thursday February 10 2011

Cob Mute swan

This following article is from the Grand Rapids Press.While living in the states I had the chance to visit this town and was immediately overjoyed from the Mute Swans omnipresence on the lake To be able to Ban someone from helpjng a injured

or sick animal is not Freedom, It’s slaughter.In many states hunters are allowed to shoot, with no limit as many mute swans as they have bullets.Today I visited some hunters chat rooms on the internet.They seem to hate many animals and just want to kill.How many of these people will end-up shooting something other than wildlife. Sustenance hunting is sustainable, but with the amount of Hunters compared to wildlife.Its time to “regulate”   Hunting before all is lost.Hire more Environment officers in Canada, looks like the united states is lost within themselves.Wow a self centered country. Yes Mute swans are Feral, yes snake head fish and other invasive species will overtake the Great Lakes and change our way of life. Zebra mussels are invasive, yet people seem to love the clear water now. Unfortunately  much of the great lakes have oxygen depleted areas where invasive species “snake head fish, Asian carp” can thrive due to zebra mussels and pollution.We are lucky to live in Canada, plaese conserve, reduce and reuse.Do not shoot an animal unless you intend to eat-it.     If you are able to drive to areas you know Mute swans are trying to survive this Winter, please take food for them.


Thank you

Site coordinator

Doug Worrall

Mute swan

Crippled or injured mute swans may no longer find a safe harbor with wildlife rehabilitators in Michigan.

A state wildlife order prohibiting their rehabilitation and/or release into the wild if they have been rehabilitated is expected to be acted upon at the Natural Resources Commission Lansing meeting today.

State wildlife officials say the non-native swan, as beautiful as it is, has become a serious nuisance. Its population has nearly tripled in 10 years from 5,400 in 2000 to 15,000 swans in 2010.

The big white bird with the distinctive orange bill, black face and black knob on its bill threatens humans with aggressive behavior, native waterfowl species and has hindered state restoration efforts for the trumpeter swans, a threatened species.

“They are highly destructive to habitat,” said Mary Dettloff, spokeswoman for the Department of Natural Resources and Environment. “We have been managing the mute swan since the 1960s here in Michigan. But the management activities have not been effective at slowing the population down.”

The decision to prohibit any further rehabilitation of injured mute swans is the latest chapter in the state management saga which has relied on nest and egg destruction, issuing permits for their removal (by killing them) on private lakes and open waters and long-term goal established in 2006 of reducing the mute swan population to 2,000 birds statewide.

“We’re not calling for the complete eradication of the birds,” Dettloff said. “But we don’t want people rehabilitating them. People like to look at them and see them on lakes. They are pretty birds. But people don’t differentiate between the three swan species, the mute, trumpeter and tundra swan that passes through. Most say a swan is a swan is a swan.”

Some wildlife rehabilitators oppose the policy, according to Dettloff. The prohibition runs contrary to their natural instinct to help a bird in trouble. But PJ Garner, the president of the Michigan Wildlife Rehabilitators Association, a trade association for wildlife rehabilitators, said her group is not taking a position on the matter.

“The feds took the mute swan off the protected status list in 2005,” Garner said. “They are not native to the North America. The were brought in from Eurasia as an ornamental bird in the late 1800s.

“Any time the state wants to flat out ban rehabilitation of avian or mammal species it is a concern to our members, but Michigan is not different from other states. It’s a pretty common practice not to allow rehab on invasive species. The quick fix is to put a stop on rehab.

“We have some members that are opposed to flat out ban; they would rather see the DNR find a way to compromise.”

However, Tom Funke, conservation director for the Michigan Audubon Society, said his organization fully supports the move and the overall plan.

Mute swans are a threat to trumpeter swans, he said. Mute swans arrive in large flocks in the summer during which time they molt their feathers. They ravage a lake’s aquatic food sources and move on, Funke said. That has an impact on native species like ducks and trumpeter swans. Mute swans also displace trumpeter swan populations by aggressively taking nest sites.

“Birders in general and Audubon chapters are in support of getting mute swans off the landscape,” Funke said. “We support the DNR’s efforts to reduce mute swan populations by various means. What’s coming (today) is just another means to keep them out of the wild.

Dave Nyberg, legislative policy staffer for Michigan United Conservation Clubs, said his group also supports reducing the mute swan population.

Female mute
Mated for life
Signets one month

“If you look at the science, mute swans pose a significant problem for wildlife species and pose a threat to humans. Minimizing their numbers to controllable levels is something we support.

“(Allowing their rehabilitation) would be like rehabbing an Asian Carp or a feral pig,” Nyberg said.


Grand Rapids Press


Doug Worrall

Mute Swans Elegant Wildlife The Magic Brew of Nature

Mute Swans are Elegant but Wildlife and The Magic Brew of  Nature


My question is  – Can you look in Swanny’s eye, as she or her mate may die due to Dalton McGintry calling for a  “cull” on Mute Swans to control their population ?

By Jaqueline Darby


Doug Worrall

Mute Swan

Mute Swans are in the Anatidae family. and according to the U.N. Environmental Program Mute Swans exist in 70 countries. Evolutionary, the Mute swan sub-fossils 6,000 years old were found in glacial peat beds in East Anglia, in Great Britain.   They are classified as non-native, imported from Europe.  But they are ancient circumboreal bird, and history cites Europe, Asia into Russia Maritimes and Kamchaika, then Alaska to Canada.  James Bay Area in Canada digs confirms a very early presence.  It is the largest British bird, and they nick the swan on the webs (feet) or beak to indicate ownership, registered by the Crown by a Royal Swanherd.  Any bird not marked is Crown property and called “Royal Bird” as the Queen has rights to them.  Even “Swan-upping” (food) is still practiced by The Worshipful Companies of the Vinters and Dyers on the River Thames in London.  .  Mute Swans are also the national emblem of Denmark.

They were first described by the German Naturalist Johann Friedrich Gmelin in 1789.  “Cygnus” and “olor” in Latin mean Swan.  Cygnus is related to the Greek word “kykos.”  In 1930 the  American Orthinologists’ Union changed the species name, known as Sithenelides olor.  There are no recognized living subspecies of Mute Swans.  The morph inmulabilis (Poland Swan) in which the cygnets is a dull white, is not a subspecies because it occurs in all populations.  White coloured cygets has a leucistic gene.  And, Mutes are white at maturity.
It was fishermen who thought Mute Swans were destroying eelgrass and keeping fish away that prompted the most extensive government Study in Sweden.  The results of the study was total exoneration  (not guilty) of the Mute Swan (Berglund, B.E. 1963).
Mute swans can hybridize both Trumpeter and Tundra Swans because of their aggressive disposition.  They are “territorial” birds and aggressive to any intruder, including humans.  All swans will attack in defence of their families, during the period of FLEDGING of the offspring – signets up to 6 months old – which is longer than most other birds. The Males come with wings beating, back hunched and neck extended streaks across the lake with a wake behind him and jumps on another Swan or predator.
The Dept. of Zoology, Oxford University studying Mute Swans in Dorset, England shed light on the question – Why do we stop reproducing after a certain age ? Mute Swans have colonized in Dorset, England for 600 years.  This supports the Antagonistic Pleiotrophy  Theory for the evolution of ageing.  The theory says “reproductive success in early life will lead to faster ageing later = you “pay” in later life for your success in reproducing when young.   You cannot win on all levels: the more you invest early in life, the earlier you are going to senesce (age) in reproduction terms, as shown in their study.  It is an Evolutionary Trade-Off: If you carry GENES which will make you start reproducing early, you also can carry genes which will make you stop early.  It explains why birds and other animals, like humans, age, because we invest early in life.  The importance of this study is it shows the link between the age you start reproducing and the age you stop is actually GENETIC. Field research in the study of life history of a species is in ecology and evolutionary biology which is genetically based.

Swannys signets first swim

Since April 2,010 in Hamilton Harbour we have witnessed the nesting, birth, and now fledgling of two Mute Swan families and their signets.  But, the second family has pulled at heartstrings as in “the magic brew of nature”  and has been dubbed “Swanny.”  She is absolutely beautiful with her four signets and mate.  Photographs indicate this family development since building of her nest late in May.  Some people said, she laid the eggs too late, they will never hatch, and that turned out to be untrue.  It is a joy to follow her family almost daily, a graceful beautiful bird. Mute Swans are known to live for 25 years, but most survive five to six years.
Winter is approaching and everyone wonders how the Swans will survive.  Because in North Americans population they do not migrate long distances, but move from ice-bound freshwater to nearby open coastal bays in winter where they gather in :flocks” of 100 or more.
Watching Mute Swans “float” in icy water the question is asked – Why doesn’t the water freeze that the Mute Swan is floating upon  ?” First of all, swans have feet that come equipped with a network of arteries and veins lying close to each other called RETE MIRABILE .  In Latin the term means “wonderful net” and it is.  Fresh, hot blood flowing from the heart to the feet in arteries (up to 106 degrees F) enters the feet and immediately warms the cold blood returning in the veins.  Heat is exchanged because the arteries and veins are so close together.  The warm blood reheats the cold blood preventing body heat from being lost, so the foot never gets cold enough to freeze.
Secondly, a Mute Swan has 25,000 feathers.  The feathers, especially the fluffy down feathers on the chest and belly are “like hair.”  They do not contain blood vessels so body heat is not lost into the environments.  Feathers trap warm air near the skin to keep body heat in.  There’s also a layer of fat in the dermis (Just below the skin)  that provides insulation and can be used for energy during cold weather (to produce heat) and when food is in short supply. Historically, their feathers or quills were used for writing, their leathery feet for purses, and  from their wing bones made whistles.
My question is  – Can you look in Swanny’s eye, as she or her mate may die due to Dalton McGintry calling for a  “cull” on Mute Swans to control their population ?
Enjoy the Magic and all the beauty around you
SAY “NO” to Dalton Mcintry