Exhausted swans forced to land in delnice

Prospekt Fauna

Photo 1. Capturing an exhausted swan (Photo by Andrej Radalj)


In the early morning hours, the workers of Seting d.o.o.
of Delnice called 112, the Emergency Response Centre, to report that an
adult swan was in their factory yard. According to the workers, the bird
was in no condition to fly and refused to eat the food they tried to feed
it. The employees of Public Institution “Priroda”, together
with Andrej Radalj, external associate and licenced bird-ringer of the
Institute of Ornithology, arrived in Delnice about 9 a.m. and found an
exhausted male mute swan. They caught the bird and, after fitting it with
a neck-collar and leg-ring, they drove it to Fužine where they set it
free at Bajer Lake. In the meantime, a report was called in about another
swan near the Delnice train station, as well as several other swans alongside
the road on the outskirts of Delnice leading to Brod na Kupi. Attempts
to ring the group of seven swans proved unsuccessful. Not allowing anyone
to come close to them, the swans soon took flight and disappeared from
the horizon flying in a V-formation. The swan captured near the train
station, however, was fitted with a leg-ring and released at Bajer Lake.
We assume that all nine swans belonged to the same flock that was forced
to land before continuing their migration. The two swans that were separated
from their flock were severely exhausted. As soon as they were released
at Bajer Lake, they began to drink water and forage for food. We expect
they will join up with their flock once they have recuperated.

A nesting bird of Central and Northern Europe and Asia,
the Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) migrates to the southern regions of these
continents in the winter months. However, as the swan population has begun
to expand throughout these ranges, swans have, in recent years, been sighted
in places where they have never been seen before (the Cove of St. Euphemia
on Rab Island, the Port of Rijeka, and Delnice). Although these unusual
visits are the result of short stops duration migration, nesting swans
have already been recorded along the Adriatic coast. Ornithologists believe
that in the near future swans are certain to become regular nesting birds
throughout the territory of Croatia.

Patrik Krstinić

Photo 2. Swans resting on the snow before continuing their journey (Photo
by Andrej Radalj)