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Queen's Swan Marker Conducts Annual Census

  • VOA News

Britain's Queen Elizabeth is awaiting the birth of her great-grandchild and heir to the throne, but on the River Thames counting of royal babies of a very different kind has begun.

The Queen's Swan Marker and his helpers will row traditional wooden skiffs up the Thames counting the swan babies or cygnets for the annual Swan Upping, or swan census. All swans and cygnets they spot are weighed, measured, tagged and checked for any injuries.

The five-day census dates back to the twelfth century when the Crown claimed ownership of all mute swans.

The last census in 2011 counted 114 cygnets along a 127 kilometer stretch of the Thames.

The census did not take place last year because of heavy rains.