Swan nests generally contain between four and five eggs. With four nests having been found empty, it is believed that as many as 20 eggs have been taken.
The Bruges City Alderman Philip Pierins (socialist) told journalists that almost three quarters of the nest along the ’t Stil Ende have been emptied. "However, there are still enough swans in Bruges”, Mr Pierens added.
The people of Bruges and the many thousands of people that visit the city love swans. Most the city’s swans hatch in nests along the t’ Stil Ende between April and mid-June.
The nests are something of a tourist attraction. As the tourists sometimes disturb the swans. The city authorities have taken measures to protect the nests. Mr Pierins says this has had a calming influence of the swans.
Swan eggs for sale
Things appeared to be going alright, until yesterday when Bruges City Council workers found four empty nests.
"There are usually 4 or 5 eggs in each nest so we think that as many as 20 eggs have been taken. The motive for taking the eggs is probably money.
The thieves can sell the eggs on as there is certainly a market for swan eggs and for swans. However, a visit to websites offering swans for sale shows that there is no fortune to be made from selling swans or their eggs.