Skip to main content
Publish date:

DNR: No, that swan probably is not stuck on the ice

Don't worry. Swans do this sometimes.

If you stumble upon a swan that appears to be stuck on the ice, wait a minute before you go calling for help. It's probably just fine. 

According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, it is perfectly safe for swans to swim in icy water. They probably aren't trapped or stuck, so they don't need to be rescued. This goes for other waterfowl as well. 

"People see them this time of year resting on frozen water or swimming about in small pockets of open water within ice," explains Erica Hoaglund, central region nongame wildlife specialist. "Observers assume they're trapped when most of the time they're not and move on in either a few days or a few weeks. It usually is not the emergency it can first appear to be."

The DNR explains that the birds can appear trapped because they—like humans—move around less when it's cold out. 

In the unfortunate and rare occasion that the bird is actually trapped or in distress, do not risk your own safety to rescue it. The DNR says the animal likely has an underlying illness or injury, and it might not even be possible to rehabilitate the animal after a rescue. 

While it might be sad, some animals will die over the winter and go on to provide food for other animals like mice and bald eagles. 

Next Up

Brooklyn Center police

Victim of 'accidental' shooting ID'd as 23-year-old Duluth woman

The 23-year-old died three days after being shot while sitting in a parked vehicle.

ambulance

Motorist dead after crashing into utility pole in south Minneapolis

The crash happened Saturday night in the South Uptown neighborhood.

police lights

St. Cloud mother arrested after 3-month-old baby found dead

Officers discovered the baby during a welfare check Sunday.

Merwin Liquors Mounds View

Police shoot, kill man inside Mounds View liquor store

It follows an alleged armed carjacking outside a nearby Aldi.

Dalvin Cook

Report: Dalvin Cook has dislocated shoulder, will undergo MRI

The Vikings running back was carted off the field in Sunday's loss to the 49ers.

Kirk Cousins

Watch: Kirk Cousins lines up under guard on critical 4th down play

Kirk Cousins went "Full Kirk" at the worst possible time.

Dalvin Cook

Dalvin Cook injured, Vikings drop crucial game against 49ers

The Vikings couldn't stop the Niners' rushing attack in a 34-26 loss.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Man airlifted to a hospital after police shooting in Forest Lake

Police allege that the man presented a threat to officers.

Minnesota Wild

Wild's two third-period goals take down the Lightning

Ryan Hartman's go-ahead goal defeated the two-time defending champions.

Byron Buxton

Reports: Twins reach extension with Byron Buxton

The long-term deal locks in one of the Twins' franchise players.

Related

Swans at Sucker Lake in Vadnais Heights.

Lead fishing sinkers blamed in deaths of trumpeter swans

Several dead swans were found at Sucker Lake in Vadnais Heights this month.

Swan rescue

Swan does exactly what you'd expect in the back of deputy's squad car

The bird was rescued in Chisago Co., and things got... messy.

DNR investigating trumpeter swan shootings around the state

The DNR says dead birds were discovered in Kandiyohi County, as well as Brownton in central Minnesota and Pine River up north. Trumpeter swans are a federally protected species.

Hunters Rescue Deer on Ice

Hunters save deer stranded on thin ice

The men teamed up to save a deer during hunting season.

Rescuers finally saved a cat that was stuck in a Waconia drain pipe for 4 days

'Piper' became the subject of an intense rescue effort in Waconia.

kayak river pixabay

Kayaking family of 4 rescued after becoming stuck in downed tree

They're "lucky to be alive," a DNR conservation officer said.

Watch: Firefighter crawls on ice to rescue dog that fell through

It happened at a park in Eagan Monday afternoon.