What to do if you find an injured swan

See also: Injured Swan or Normal Behaviour


For urgent enquiries and emergencies regarding injured swans, please telephone:

01753 859397

We may not see emails, Facebook Messenger, etc. notifications so will not always be able to respond quickly, if it is an emergency.

We operate within 50km of our headquarters in Eton, Berkshire (west of London only). See our rescue area map. For all other rescues and birds, please find your closest rescue centre by visiting helpwildlife.co.uk.


For all non-emergency enquiries, please call or email us at enquiries@swanlifeline.uk and we will aim to get back to you as soon as possible. We ask that you be patient as we are a very busy charity dealing with emergency call-outs and treatment of swans within our care.

Swan Lifeline is dedicated to the rescue and care of swans and cygnets but we are always happy to give advice on other wildfowl if we are able to do so or will do our best to advise alternative contacts.

Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)

Confirmation of avian influenza in a swan or cygnet can only be 100% after a blood test, however there are some signs you can look out for. An affected swan will has some of the symptons (usually 3 or more):

  1. Listlessness
  2. Lethargy
  3. Be on its own, away from its flock or mate
  4. Have a drooping neck
  5. Be gaping or gasping
  6. Be swimming in circles
  7. Not eating

We continue to protect all birds and staff while any Avian Influenze Prevention Zone remains in force.

Who to Report Dead Wildfowl

Never touch a dead bird, or any swan or cygnet during an Avian Flu outbreak. You should call the Defra helpline (03459 33 55 77) if you find a) 1 or more dead birds of prey or owls; b) 3 or more dead gulls or wild waterfowl (swans, geese and ducks); or 5 or more dead birds of any species.

See also: Injuries Advice