Sunday, January 24, 2010

Swan 'divorce' at Slimbridge wetland

Experts have told of their surprise after witnessing a rare "divorce" between a pair of swans at a Gloucestershire wildfowl sanctuary.

The Bewick's swans have returned to winter at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust centre at Slimbridge - but both have brought new partners.

It is only the second time in more than 40 years that a "separation" has been recorded at the centre.

Staff have described the new couplings as "bizarre".

It is not unheard of for the birds, which usually mate for life, to find a new mate but it tends to be because one of the pair has died, they said.

During the past four decades 4,000 pairs of Bewick's swans have been studied at Slimbridge, with only one previous couple moving on to find new partners.

Source - BBC

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