Protecting the Lake: Swans and Waterfowl

Swans are spectacularly beautiful but…..can be aggressive, vicious, extremely territorial and are increasing in numbers at an alarming rate! It may surprise you to learn that these birds are considered invasive and federal wildlife refuges prevent them from breeding because they are so aggressive and territorial that other bird species are unable to safely breed in the same area.

Our resident swan is aging and we can see what he has to do to defend his territory every day against other swan families trying to stake a claim and raise their families in Lake Attitash. He is no longer able to keep the whole lake for his family and so we are seeing other swan families trying to take over. He is no longer able to launch his brood in November and chase them off as he used to.

The number of swans Lake Attitash can sustain is based on the availability of food. They eat weeds and we love them for that! But, if we humans feed them we are attracting more swans and in addition adding polluting nutrients into the lake thereby feeding the algae! Oh No!

Providing food to the swans encourages more swans to take up residence here. Feeding them bread can harm them. Putting any food in the water puts nutrients into the water which allows bacteria to grow and causes harmful algae blooms – undermining the success of our alum treatment.

Remember these are wild birds, well adapted to survive our winters. When our lake is frozen they can and do find the food they need by moving to nearby open bodies of water.

LAA has purchased four new signs and placed them at the Boat Ramp, Birches Dam, AALSIA beach and near Oak Circle. Feeding the swans harms the birds and harms the lake. Look, enjoy, but do not feed!