Joy and Sorrow of Chiswick House Swans

Two chicks hatch just days before the male swan is found dead

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Photo of female swan and her cygnets courtesy of www.americangrey.co.uk

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After the elation of the successful hatching of two chicks, the male swan was found dead in Chiswick House on Tuesday morning.

Although he had been 'off his food' for a few days, his death was unexpected.

An autopsy showed that the swan died of a ruptured liver and had damage to one of his wings.

Animal experts speculated that because of the time of year, male swans are defending territory and in his case, young cygnets and can crash into things e.g. the classic bridge, being unwieldy birds in low flight.

There had been speculation that the death was due to contamination of the lake but this has fortunately been proven not to be the case.

Richard Sales, who is responsible for keeping the lake looking good as possible, organised, transported the dead swan, paid for the autopsy and received the result.

Chiswick House Head Gardener Fiona Crumley told ChiswickW4 "He has been feeding the swans over the winter with water bird food to improve their health, vary their diet and get them into good breeding condition.

"The female swan will have to work hard to rear the cygnets by herself, particularly to defend from the many predators."

May 16, 2008