black swan floating nest

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Subject: black swan floating nest
From: patrick appleton <>
Date: Sat, 24 Sep 2011 00:19:17 +1030
Greetings bird folk, 
Does anybody have any expertise on floating nests for black swans?
 Such as floating under jetties,etc. 
Not so much for the actual nest, but a safe haven.

  The incubation and hatching period isn't the problem it is the months 
afterwards when cygnets are tucked under mums wings at night and during the day 
they try to relax on the beach but 99 % of the dog owners of Paynesville ignore 
the signs that require dogs to be on leads at all times.  So I was considering 
a floating dog-free zone?????????????????????????????? 

It's cygnet city now with babies everywhere and last seasons cygnets of varying 
degrees of maturity learning to live without mum and dad.  My mate Junior, ( a 
February hatch) is on his own now as his mum and dad are on the nest (7 eggs).  
His best buddies are the two twins from a nearby private jetty (perhaps a few 
weeks older).  These 3 are yet to fly, and I was wondering if anyone can tell 
me how they go about learning when they are abandoned so young.  The twins mum 
and dad already have six 3-4 week old cygnets so they've been alone for a while.

One more thing!  The breeding pair from Backwater crt  private jetty spent the 
day with me and their 5 new cygnets ( just arrived from the big communal nest 
site) and late in the day, a slightly smaller, stray cygnet came from nowhere 
and joined them!  Dad got a big shock,( probably expecting its parents to be 
following him from behind my boat ) but the cygnet just joined in like he 
belonged and he was excepted.

  He tried from the onset to jump on mums back but she'd have none of that and 
she even had to resort to lightly pecking him to stop his persistent attempts 
at the free ride as she couldn't get him off a few times until she opened her 
wings and started to take off.

  I have read how adopting strays is a common thing but today the Gippsland 
Lakes has been blowing hard Westerly and South-Westerly 30 knots and I'm 
curious as to whether the stray might've just got blown off course from his own 
brood as I never saw another breeding pair with a cygnet all day.

And can anyone recommend a black swan text book ????
Thank you.
Pat Appleton
Bronsdon Street Lakes Entrance Vic. 3909 

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