How to help save our swans

18th June 2019

Swans, Britain’s Royal Birds, need our help and protection in order to prevent their numbers from rapidly declining. They are beautiful, majestic creatures and are the largest bird within the duck and goose family.

What should I feed to swans?

Feeding bread to swans and ducks is a fond pastime for many of us, reminiscent of happy childhood trips to the local park. But, did you know that there are healthier alternatives to bread which are much better for swans and the environment?
Our #BetterThanBread campaign raises awareness to the fact that bread is not the best thing to be feeding to swans or ducks and that there are many healthier alternatives including frozen peas, sweetcorn or lettuce leaves. Bread can make swans and ducks feel very bloated and therefore prevent them from eating other foods which provide a better source of nutrition. In addition to this, uneaten bread allows bacteria to breed and attracts rats and other vermin.

What if I find a baby swan on its own?

Swans are very alert parents and so a young baby swan, also known as a cygnet, found alone could mean that it is orphaned. As with many young creatures, baby swans are vulnerable. If you find one that you are sure is orphaned, put it safely into a cardboard box that contains a clean cloth.

You should then contact a reputable swan rescue agency who will provide you with advice on how to care for it until they can collect it.

Should I handle a sick or injured swan?

If you suspect that a swan is sick or you can see that it is injured, it is better to contact the RSPCA, SSPCA, USPCA or a reputable swan rescue agency, than to attempt to handle a distressed swan yourself.