Angry birds: Brits fend off swans with water pistols, walking sticks
Residents at a semi-retirement home in the UK county of Gloucestershire have resorted to creative, “non-lethal” methods to fight off aggressive swans who have been attacking their homes.
All unmarked mute swans in open water in the UK are “owned” and protected by the British monarchy, so it’s an offense to "intentionally injure, take, or kill” them.
Apparently, ‘tis the season for swans to get it on Marvin Gaye-style and they don’t like coitus interruptus.
A spokesperson for the park said the birds are particularly aggressive at this time of the year as it is mating season: “For 10 months of the year, they are perfectly OK. It’s just nature.”
Residents in Brimscombe near Stroud report the horny honkers have damaged cars and ripped up lawns. Not even the postman is safe.
“They are so vicious,” Angela Helbrow told the Daily Express. “They chase people up the road. The poor postman has to run the gauntlet every day. I once even saw an elderly lady fighting one off with her walking stick.”
"It's an absolute nightmare," Helbrow adds. "I'm scared to leave the house at times. I was doing my knitting last week and they came right up from the river to the patio doors and began pecking on the window."
“They attacked my great granddaughter not too long ago,” said Barbara Morse, another resident at the site. “It scared her half to death.”
"To get rid of them, I use a water pistol and I know neighbors have used a garden hose, or just shout at them," Morse says, adding they’ve asked various organizations to move the swans to a better location, to no avail.