Swans - the review- Good < BAD


There are many reasons why swans are not the answer to solving nuisance goose issues. North Shore Goose Control do not believe in using nonnative birds to help solve another issue with birds. Swans, especially Mute Swans pose a huge risk from human risks to environmental risks.

Why Are Mute Swans a Problem?

There are three primary issues with mute swans: threat to humans, danger to native wildlife and destruction of wetland habitat.


  • Mute swans are large, conspicuous birds and have little fear of humans. Each year, the DNR gets reports of mute swan attacks on people in watercraft and on shore. These situations all pose potentially dangerous results, and as the mute swan population grows, so do the conflicts
  • Nesting swans can be very aggressive to humans who come too close to their territory. Mute swans will attack humans, especially small children, who get too close to their nest or young. Canoeists, kayakers and those operating personal watercraft have also been attacked when too close to mute swan territories. Mute swans are aggressive and may pose a danger to humans and can, in certain situations, effect human use of property when humans are excluded from nesting areas by swans defending their territories.                                                                          


  • Mute swans are one of the world's most aggressive waterfowl species, especially during nesting and brood-rearing. Mute swans exhibit aggression toward other waterfowl and can displace native waterfowl from their nesting and feeding areas by attacking, injuring and even killing other birds.  
  •  The trumpeter swan is native to Michigan, and is on the state's threatened species list. It has been on the road to recovery; however, the increasing presence of the invasive mute swan is threatening the breeding success of this native bird. Mute swan displacement and aggression toward native wildlife occurs frequently throughout North America.
  •  Some examples include, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation- reported that three pairs of captive mute swans killed at least 50 ducks and geese in a zoo. In another incident, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources has reported records of mute swans killing mallard ducklings, Canada goose goslings and cygnets of other mute swans. These swans have the instinct to go after all waterfowl species if they are not born into captivity.


  •  Mute swans feed primarily on water plants such as pondweed, coontail, waterweed, wild rice and wild celery. Adult mute swans consume big quantities of these plants (about 4-8 pounds per swan per day) and often uproot more plants than they actually consume. As mute swans occupy habitat year-round in many locations, there is potential for depletion of this aquatic vegetation by continuous feeding. The wetland plants that mute swans are removing play an important role in aquatic ecosystems by providing both food and cover to a variety of vertebrate and invertebrate species. Many wildlife and fish species feed on animals that live in these plants. This could lead to the slow detrition of lakes and water ecosystems on the property.


  •   Just like most other animals born or raised in captivity often show signs of change in behavior. North Shore Goose Control over the past years have viewed several instances where Mute Swans, (especially the swans placed on properties and removed later in the season) did not have the drive or instinct to keep away other animals. In 2014 we viewed Swans Ducks and Geese eating from the same food supply. These Swans don’t seem to show the same traits as their wild relatives to.                                                                                                      

Please consider these questions?

  1.  Why would you place any non-native species that could severely injure young children or even adults on your property?
  2. According to the DNR “Mute swans are one of the world's most aggressive waterfowl species” if you are looking to control geese (one less aggressive species) why replace it with an even more aggressive one?
  3. Do you like ducks? Well we do, this is why when we chase geese at all time we try to avoid distributing all other species including ducks.
  4. If your experience a goose poop issue why replace goose dropping with swans dropping that run 2-3x larger and tend to look larger dog size.
  5. Will the risk outweigh the reward?


 Below are some articles from a recent swan attack that happened in Illinois in April 2012

Killer swan blamed for mans drowning (ABC local news)

Chicago man who died was attacked by a swan Chicago Tribune