Angry birds battle for supremacy in swan soap opera

A swan at Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre.
A swan at Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre.

WILDLIFE enthusiasts and indeed anyone who enjoys a little drama might be interested in a particularly fraught territorial feud that has erupted between two families at the Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre.

This has nothing whatsoever to do with people visiting the centre or those working there. Definitely not, they all get along very well together. Instead the feud involves two families of swans who are very picky about claiming their own space.

The swan soap opera has been rumbling on for several months now and has local bird watchers as well as staff and visitors to the Wetlands enthralled.

Since the centre opened in 2012 it has been home to a family of Mute Swans who had settled into the lakes and marshes and made them their own as the wetlands centre was being developed.

However, the swan family's peaceful existence was shattered late last autumn with the arrival of a second breeding pair of Mute Swans with three cygnets in tow.

With the original residents none to keen on interlopers there has followed some fairly heated territorial fights, which the new clan appears to be winning.

On one occasion the dispute become so ill tempered that the female of the first pair was chased into a narrow ditch and had to be rescued by the volunteers at the KSPCA.

Staff at the centre thought that the original family had left the area but some local bird watchers tell The Kerryman that the first family have been seen again recently and may be set on reclaiming their home.

It's getting to be like a plot from Love/Hate as the avian drama looks set to continue.


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