Peace Crane by Hilary Taylor

Peace Crane by Hilary Taylor
Picture by Justin Wyatt
To read Hilary's story buy this special book...

This magical story has a touch of the supernatural. When an injured crane is found and nursed, something happens, something magical and inspiring...

Gentle Footprints launched- AS SEEN ON TV

Gentle Footprints was officially launched Fri June 4th at the Hay Festival with guest speaker Virginia McKenna and some of the authors

Buy from Bridge House Publishing by clicking on the link BUY:


Virginia McKenna at Hay Launch

Virginia McKenna at Hay Launch

Animal Anthology To Raise Funds for Born Free

Bridge House Publishing announce new book coming Spring 2010. For more about Bridge House please see their website.
This book is the annual charity book for Born Free...if you want to get involved with promoting and selling this book- email me!

Visit the Born Free Website to find out more about their valuable work...

Visit the Born Free Website to find out more about their valuable work...

Monday, 8 March 2010

The Domestic Life of Swans

The swan normally mates for life with one partner. However, if a mate dies the swan will seek another partner and a sort of “swan divorce” is not unknown if nesting fails. So, I guess we can be happy for the pair in The Man Pond. They do manage to stay together until they have their family. It wasn’t without its problems, though.
Swan life can be as varied sometimes as human life – recent research shows that swans can be transgendered, homosexual and even have little extra-marital affairs. It is mainly the female who goes astray, cheating with another usually “single” male.
Unlike ducks and geese the male swan helps with the nest construction. The average egg size is 113 x 74 mm, weighing 340 g, in a clutch size of 4 to 7, and an incubation period of 34–45 days. They lay one egg every two days. The males aid in incubating the eggs. The nest is on the ground near water and about a metre across. They generally start building nests in March or April. The male, known as the cob, fiercely defends the territory that he and his mate, the pen, share. If an intruder, such as another male swan, dares to invade his territory he uses a threat posture, raising his wings and back feathers, while lowering his head and moving powerfully through the water. This display usually frightens away the intruder. At Outwood Park you can see three abandoned nests.
Swans can feed in the water and on land. They are almost entirely herbivorous, although small numbers of aquatic animals may be eaten. In the water food is obtained by up-ending or dabbling, - what I call “going tippy-up” and their diet is composed of the roots, tubers, stems and leaves of aquatic and submerged plants. To help with the digestion of these plants in its gizzard, or second stomach, the swan swallows grit which grinds up the food. They eat about 4 kilos a day. White bread actually does them little harm. They generally know not to overfeed. A few people are seen giving “white food” to the swans at Outwood.
Swans can live for up to 35 years, though more commonly their life span is just 10-20 years. 

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