Division of parental care by Mute Swans

In May 1978, at Marazion marsh, Cornwall, a pair of Mute Swans Cygnus olor reared three cygnets. In the first four weeks the family remained intact, keeping near the nest site in pools. During this period, I had not seen any division of parental care. When the parents often separated in pools well apart, however, I noticed the cob caring for one of the cy

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