There are six adorable fluffy cygnets sailing serenely on Craiglockhart Pond with their proud parents, Brighid and Siegfried (Bridie and Siggy).
The cygnets were born on Thursday 12th and Friday 13th May and took to the water the following day. Yolk absorbed from the egg keeps them going over the first week or so as they learn to feed for themselves. The adult swans do not feed them though they may help by pulling up pond weeds in deeper water and ‘trampling’ in shallower water. The cygnets will eat vegetation of all kinds and assorted water beasties. As they get older, they will become better at putting their heads under the water to feed. Grains such as wheat and barley are good for them and so too are salad greens. Wholemeal bread is much better for them than white processed bread.
Swans are far from mute. The adults constantly call to the cygnets whose calls range from contented ‘cheeps’ to shrill rapid distress calls. The breeding nest will soon be abandoned though the adult swans may make temporary sleeping nests in favoured spots.
The fluffy grey down will gradually be replaced by brown feathers when the cygnets are about 6 weeks old. They will learn to fly when they are about 4 months old. Some will leave the pond in the autumn; others may remain until next year’s breeding season. They will find their way to the non-breeding flocks in Musselburgh and Holyrood Park and pair up there.
The cygnets will be ringed and health checked towards the end of the summer.
Bridie and Siggy have done brilliantly so far with their first ever brood. We hope all goes well for them and their new family in the weeks ahead.