swans asking for food
© Kennedy News & Media
The polite swans have been demanding bread and water
Swans who 'won't take no for an answer' have taken to knocking on villagers' doors to demand food and have taught their cygnets to copy their behaviour.

The residents of Kirk Hallam, Derbyshire, have learned to keep a loaf of bread around at all times in case the beaked visitors come to call.

Care worker Carley Holmes, 40, said the swans have been coming to her house for years and has filmed them waddling up to her house and making their hungry demands.

She said that although they scare off postal workers: "I wouldn't be without the swans.

"I know other people who live locally also have a special place in their hearts for the swans. They do actually make the effort to get bread for them.

"I grew up in a house that faced the lake. Ever since I was little, the swans came doorknocking.

"In 2002 I moved very close to where I grew up, hence why the swans are still coming from the lake. They are very well known locally.

"They do actually physically knock as well [with their beaks]. They bang on the window using their beaks, or get a hold of the letterbox and bang on the letterbox."

The birds are insistent, she said, adding: "If you open the door and say no, they'll just keep knocking. They drive me crazy."

David Barber, the Queen's Swan Marker said that the regal birds can get used to humans easily if fed.

He told The Telegraph: "Swans are wild birds and this should always be borne in mind, but swans that are also fed by humans on a regular basis become accustomed to the practice, and will often appear at the site of feeding at the 'usual' time, or in the case of a location where they are fed by many individuals throughout the day, they will congregate at that place in the hope of being fed.

"They have been observed to display attention seeking behaviour, for example calling out or raising and lowering their heads in an attempt to induce the feeding from humans on the river banks.

"We are pleased that these wonderful birds give so much pleasure to people."