“The couple in the southern end of the lake, raising four brown cygnets, are trying to drive out the other family, which has one cygnet. The southern father — wings beating, back hunched and neck extended — streaks across the lake with a wake behind him and repeatedly jumps on members of the other family. It looks as if he’s trying to drown them. Sometimes he has the help of the mother and their offspring. All appear to be males, and some are almost as large as their parents.”
Honestly, considering the Mute Swans’ propensity for violence, I’m surprised that the two pairs ever managed to co-exist at all. I’m also surprised at the people who think it’s a good idea to step into the fray between thirty-pound birds with bone-cracking wings and the intent to commit mayhem for reproductive glory. One wing to the crotch and they could win a Darwin award of their own.
Plus, hello, Mute Swans. Invasive, obnoxious, probably crypto-monarchists. Like when the Cowboys play the Redskins, the correct reaction is to root for both teams to lose.