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August 8, 2020
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Needs to Change

Published July 08, 2020

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I would like to bring attention to a problem we have in South Cove in Old Saybrook and that is the mute swans. As you may know, this is an invasive species that was brought to the U.S. in the late 1800s as an ornamental bird. Unfortunately they quickly escaped into the wild and now cover much of the eastern seaboard. They hatch, on average, 6 eggs per clutch but it can be as high as 11.

Here in South Cove, it’s easy to see how their population has increased over the last several years as swans now dominate the waters. They destroy submerged aquatic vegetation by overgrazing and can reach vegetation up to four feet deep. They are very aggressive and territorial and displace many native birds from their breeding habitat. If you look, there are not many other aquatic fowl in the cove besides seagulls.

For some reason, Connecticut currently protects these birds, which is something that needs to change. We need to control their population. I recommend that we write to our state representatives to inform them of this issue and request the appropriate legislation be changed that protects these nuisance birds.

Alan Schwarz
Old Saybrook