Mute Swan Migration|
This was written by: Geoff Mawson
Mute Swan Migration
The Mute Swan is easily dismissed as a sedentary species with its movements overlooked. In fact the Mute Swan undergoes a moult migration within the UK. Further south on the continent some populations are migratory by nature.
The British population of Mute Swans is a lowland breeding species and in our region its habitats are often close to public places with non-breeding flocks in summer and winter influenced by weather conditions, particularly in very cold weather movement is expected. The Swan Study Group’s monitoring has involved the use of large, individually marked Darvic colour rings. Often whole broods were ringed along with adults ringed during their flightless period in July and August. Recovery rates of these ringed birds are high at almost 1:5 chance of further information. A distance of 40km is used as a cut off point for noteworthy records.
There has at times been a confusing picture of movement due to the action of Swan Rescue Centres in releasing once injured birds into a ‘new’ locality. Our involvement with the Yorkshire Swan Rescue seeks to make clear in our area what is happening throughout Yorkshire and Derbyshire. We have introduced a consistent practice of re-release at the same site, or within the same area if the same site is not possible ruling out the mechanical movement of ringed birds.
As the local and National population of Swans grow, monitoring of our birds in this considered way is timely and the operation of the Yorkshire Swan Rescue is coordinated so that movements and population distribution are more accurately evaluated.
The Mute Swan is our largest British bird and the ring in keeping with this is the largest too, a ‘M’ size. Most BTO ring sizes are split rings rounded off, the Swan rings are ‘C’ clip shaped and require crimping together differently.
Sorby-Breck R. G. use RED Darvic rings with clear yellow numbers and letters. (The letters do look white from a distance.) All RED Darvic rings have been fitted to the left leg of the Swans ringed.
Have you seen a Mute Swan wearing a RED Darvic ring? Well, if you have please use our Website and tell us When? and Where? Any additional detail would be appreciated too, such as parents, siblings or brood mate. The information provided will add to the bird’s history.
Thank you for taking an interest.