Animals: Alster swans move into their winter quarters

Alster swans move into their winter quarters

When the temperatures drop, the Alster swans return to their winter quarters. photo

© Ulrich Perrey/dpa

Hamburg’s Alster swans are moving again. As always in autumn, they are collected on the Outer Alster in November and taken to their winter quarters.

No more swimming on the Outer Alster: Numerous Hamburg Alster swans moved to their winter quarters on Tuesday as planned. Swan father Olaf Nieß and his team collected around 30 animals at midday at the town hall lock in the Hanseatic city and took them by boat to their winter quarters. As in the previous year, the employees also have to look for many of the remaining mute swans in their more distant breeding grounds.

The reason for this is that the increasing number of water sports enthusiasts in spring and summer has driven the waterfowl from their traditional breeding grounds. They therefore moved to the Alster region and the canals. “The use of the Alster this year was not as extreme as in previous years,” said Swan father Nieß of the German Press Agency. Now the shore areas are to be better protected again by floating reed barriers and replanting. The offspring of the swans have stabilized, but Nieß did not give any specific figures.

The winter quarters are about 500 square meters and at the Eppendorfer Mühlenteich. In the tent, which is lined with straw, there is also a small pond in which the swans can bathe, eat and swim.

The Hamburg swan act has a centuries-old tradition. The office of the Swan Father has existed since 1674. The swans are one of the symbols of the Hanseatic city. Around 120 mute swans are currently swimming on the Outer Alster and its waters.


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