Swan Mimic Behavior
Awhile ago, I had an encounter with a swan, and I thought
it was very interesting. I hope you can enlighten me. I was on a jet ski
waitng for a friend to launch a boat.I was slowly idling around at the
launching docks. I noticed 2 adult swans and one smaller one swimming
around off in the distance. Paying no attention, I patiently waited for
my friend. Unaware to me, but as I sat there, one of the swans was
suddenly about 5 feet away from me. I was pleasantly surprised. I did
not notice any defensive behavior, it was just sitting there. But this
swan started to "copy cat" my every move. If I spun in a circle, it spun
in a circle. If I slowly increased my speed,and proceeded in a straight
line, it did the same. If turned to my left or right, it did the same.
This went on for a few minutes.It made no sounds and just sat there if I
did the same.I was not near the other 2 swans, they were off in the
distance. Was this actually some form of defensive behavior that
myself,as a lay person, would be unaware of, or just a characteristic
nature of the species?
Mimicing behavior is well known to occur in almost all animals...in young
animals such as geese it is very well documented that young geese imprint
the behavior of even humans that they are associated with. I have watched
dogs numerous time watch another dog and mimic their behavior...it is a bit
harder to pick up a dog mimicing human behavior but I have seen this also.
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Update: June 2012