Swans are protected in this country and are owned by the Queen of England, therefore affording them the honour of royal protection!
(Don't forget to click the images for the full screen effect!)
'The Crown claimed ownership of all the mute swans in England and Wales in the 12th Century, primarily to stop commoners depriving the royals of a favourite banqueting dish.'
This I find ironic because if you look into the reason behind the law, it wasn't actually for the sake of the birds; it was to stop the common folk from killing the birds and restricting the High Folk from eating the Swans at their favourite banquets!
Swans are no longer a 'Rich Folk' delicasy thank goodness, but they do still have protection from the crown.
In the 1980's Swan numbers were decreasing and there was a 'national annual count' initiated to keep an eye on them. The decline was attributed to lead weights that were used at the time for fishing. These have now been banned. Thankfully the Swan seems to be thriving again and the figures are stable.
I am extremely lucky to be able to live very close to these majestic birds and it is an unwritten rule (or perhaps it is written somewhere); basically everyone knows that you NEVER let your dogs near Swans, especially when they are nesting. I find it very sad when at least once a year, I come across a dead swan that has obviously been attacked, most likely by a dog, given the fact that we don't really have any preditors here in England that would be able to take on these beautiful creatures.
They are extremely strong, despite their graceful appearance. In fact, we were told as children 'Don't let them get you or they will break your arm with their beaks!' (I am not entirely sure how true this is either, as you can tell, Swans haunt many childhood memories in the UK thanks to parents!)
These images are my own, taken with my Nikon D5300, using a Sigma 18-300mm lens and edited using PhotoScape software, which you can find free online. (http://www.photoscape.org/ps/main/download.php)
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