Swans

Swans

T HIS beautiful and majestic bird was considered the bird-royal in England, owing to a law of England that when found in a partially wild state on the sea and navigable rivers it belonged to the crown; but of course it is to be found on the ponds and lakes of many a gentleman's estate, and is always prized as a great ornament to the lake. The swan is also very valuable in clearing the ponds of weeds, and makes a most effective clearance, as they eat them before they rise to the surface. The swan affords a pleasing illustration of the love of the mother-bird for its young, and has been known to vanquish a fox who made an attack on its nest—showing that the instinct of motherhood kindles boldness and bravery in the breast of the most timid animals. The nest is generally made on an islet, and composed of reeds and rushes, and when the five or seven large eggs are hatched, the mother may be seen swimming about with the young ones on her back.