Enjoy an up-close video of a mother swan hatching seven fluffy cygnets

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Swans certainly have their hands full during mating season. It is not unusual for s single couple to hatch as many as 10 cygnets, in the anticipation that some will be lost to predators and environmental hazards.

In a pond on Hampstead Heath in Northwest London, a swan happened to nest right near a dividing fence, which gave onlookers a great view of the miracle of birth in process. This particular swan laid eight eggs, of which seven hatched. As the video continues, it is marvelous to witness the young birds growing stronger and learning to swim.

The cygnets will stay with their parents for approximately six weeks, at which point they will go off and fend for themselves. During their most vulnerable weeks, they will seek protection under their mother’s powerful wing, and even catch a ride on her back if they are too tired to swim.

Once the nest is empty, the same mating pair will most likely stick together to start a new family. And considering how beautiful these majestic creatures are, that’s just fine with us!

You can learn more about swans by checking out this handy collection of frequently asked questions.