A quick look at the digitised newspapers in the National Library of
Australia’s Trove has revealed a number of interesting articles. It would
seem that in 1972 the swans’ wings were being pinioned. However in 1953
they were free flying. So sometime between these two dates the local
council started “managing” the swans.
The current ranger at Northam also made the comment that there has been no
pinioning for at least 20 years (could have been longer). I assume wing
clipping replaced the practice.
As to what constitutes a wild, sustainable population is open to debate. I
would contend that the way these swans are being managed is not dissimilar
to the way a wildfowl collection is managed in a zoo, or other collections
(eg Serendip in Vic, or Tidbinbilla in ACT). In the end if you are a lister
it is your list and you can make your own rules.
On Mon, Jan 9, 2017 at 9:40 PM, David Clark <>
> I'm not planning a trip to Northam in the foreseeable future but I was
> wondering what makes the Mute Swans not valid; the enclosure, wing
> trimming, inoculations, a combination and/or something else?
> I ticked Black Swans in the Loire Valley, but I was convinced that they
> were a wild, sustainable population.
> On Mon, Jan 9, 2017 at 8:59 PM, Noel Luff <> wrote:
>> (excuse cross-posting)
>> I have been in touch with the Council Ranger at Northam, WA regarding the
>> Mute Swans.
>> There is an enclosure which the swans may/may not use for breeding. The
>> enclosure was constructed about 18 years ago.
>> The swan’s wings are trimmed each year when they have their check-up and
>> receive their inoculations. Their wings have not been pinioned for at
>> 20 years
>> For the twitchers amongst us it would seem that they are no longer a valid
>> bird (and probably have not been for some time).
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