Swans are hazard for New Jersey golfers

May 8, 2011 at 3:32 PM
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TURNERSVILLE, N.J., May 8 (UPI) -- Golfers at one course in New Jersey have to deal with a water hazard with an unusual challenge -- ferocious swans known to chase players, course officials say.

A pair of swans are residents on the 13th hole at the Wedgwood Country Club in Washington Township, and they are absolutely fearless when it comes to protecting their young, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Sunday.

"Every year they're chasing golfers down the fairway," golf course manager Tim Ahern said. "They pin them right up against the fence. It's something."

Yet most golfers are happy to put up with the swans, because the birds keep even more bothersome pests -- geese -- away from the course, the newspaper said.

While the surrounding area deals with torn-up lawns full of goose droppings, houses and fairways near the swans have become a goose-free zone.

Geese will land but within minutes the male swan will be out of the water in full attack mode, said Shirley Falls, who has cared for the swans for 17 years.

"We can have 300 geese flying in, and within 2 hours he'll have them all gone, every last one," she said.

"They have their home, and they want to protect it."

Mute swan cobs (males) average 26 pounds, while pens (females) average 20 pounds. They range from 49 to 67 inches in length and have wing spans of 79 to 94 inches.

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