Swans have a great neck for preening it is strong and flexible and long. Preening is the process of cleaning and ensuring all feathers are in tip top condition and in the correct position. Swans have an oil gland which the rub and then apply to their feathers with the top of their head.
I have noticed a large number of swans feathers in the surface of the lake – swans moult .
Once a year they replace all 25,000 of their feathers which make up their plumage
This process takes 4-6 weeks, generally females moult in June and males in July
This is so they are not both unable to fly at the same time .
I am going to look really carefully this week at the swans to see which feathers are missing and where the new ones are coming in.
This swan was having a good preen,happily in the shallows in the sun today.
Our chickens moult but I haven’t thought about it for beautiful swans who always look so perfect. .