Wednesday, July 02, 2008

down by the riverside

... there are lots of swans, of course. In the latest edition of Oxford's alumni magazine Oxford Today, I have a feature on the ancient tradition of Swan Upping (where head counts and ownership of swans on the Thames is established), and how it links to modern concerns from lead pollution through to bird flu.

Read my story here.

2 comments:

Carl Sprake said...

I read your article in Oxford Today with much interest. I was wondering: if Cygnets are found to be the offspring of two swans owned by different people who do they belong to? i.e. if a swan owned by the Crown mates with a swan owned by the Dyers who do the offspring belong to? Are they split evenly? What happens if there is an odd number?

Carl Sprake (St Anne's 1987)

Michael said...

I understand that they split even-numbered broods equally, while in odd-numbered ones the spare cygnet goes to the Crown, unless the Crown people have a generous day and donate it to one of the other parties.

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