Who Would Kill a Swan?

Pages: 3 (1021 words) Published: May 11, 2008
Who Would Kill A Swan?
Every time I go to the Chesapeake Bay I love to watch the birds swim round. I especially love to watch the ducks and the swans. However, I have noticed that the swan like to fight with the other birds. They seem to be extremely aggressive. Also, having going to a high school where all my sciences are marine based, I knew that these birds were actually doing a lot of harm to the bay. Something needs to be done about these birds, or they entire ecosystem of the Chesapeake Bay will be at risk. Mute swans were first brought to Maryland by estate owners. They wanted the swans for lawn ornaments because they are considered to be such beautiful birds. Before this time, there were no wild swans in the state of Maryland. Then, in 1962, five swans escaped from the estate and began to breed in the Chesapeake Bay area. These swans quickly reproduced and their numbers are rapidly growing. By the year 2000, the swan population had expanded to over 4000. Their population is currently doubling every four years. Mute swans pose significant problems. “Although strikingly elegant, mute swans (Cygnus olor) are one of the bay's most harmful species, edging out native waterfowl and destroying aquatic vegetation” (O’Connell). The mute swans are an extremely aggressive bird. They are diving away the native birds. These native birds usually breed in the Chesapeake Bay area, but since the swans are driving them away, they now have no where to breed. The swans may also be causing damage to other birds’ eggs. The tundra swan, which spends its winters in the area, is starting to diminish in the number wintering in the area, and there is a very big possibility the mute swans are the cause. Mute swans also pose problems for the submerged aquatic vegetation. “Analyses of the gullet and gizzard of mute swans from Chesapeake Bay indicate that this species is primarily herbivorous during all seasons of the year and feed primarily on submerged aquatic...
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