This spring, while we were all looking to the Beaton Farm in the northwest, working to make this conservation dream a reality for Manchaug Pond… a new lake neighbor flew in to our southeast, making Stevens Pond their home: a pair of Mute Swans.
In the cattails on the end of Stevens Pond by the shoreline bordering Parker Road, Sutton, they built their nest some time ago. Would anyone from Stevens Pond give us a report as to the status of the nest with the rise in waterlevel?
You should know that mute swans are not native to North America and considered an invasive species. MassWildlife reports they were: “Originally brought in from Europe and Asia as ornamental waterfowl to grace the ponds of Long Island estates, some escaped to the wild where they became established, spread up and down the coast and are found in many inland waters. Highly aggressive and territorial, there is evidence that they are displacing native waterfowl and can be destructive to some aquatic habitats, destroying more vegetation than they actually eat.”
“Mute swans are protected under state regulations and may not be hunted. They are not protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty as they were placed on a long list of exotic bird species that removed protection under this treaty. MassWildlife can issue permits in certain situations to addle eggs and destroy mute swans.”