Swan Marking is necessary, as with other animals, to distinguish ownership. Cygnets will have the same owner as the Pen (female) parent.
For centuries the Vintners marked their birds by putting a nick on each side of the beaks, the Dyers putting one nick only, whilst the Crown's birds went unmarked. This practice is no longer continued. Instead the birds are marked by a metal identifying ring around their legs. The Queen's swans are left unmarked.
Marked swans are fitted with two rings each, one is a metal ring (BTO ring) and the second is a large plastic ring (Darvic ring) with a unique series of letters/and or numbers are easy identified in the water.
The swan uppers identify and tag the new generation of cygnets; those belonging to the Vintners or Dyers companies are tagged - the Queen's (the Crown) are left unmarked.
Any unmarked bird automatically belongs to the Crown.
Did you know?.....
The pub sign, "A Swan with Two Necks" originates from the practice of the Worshipful Company of Vintners, private swan owners, marking their birds with a nick on each side of the beak, i.e. two 'nicks'.
© Copyright 2013 Mandy Barrow