Swans are unusual in that both the parent birds help incubate any eggs, with one standing guard to warn off predators. If they hatch, Sebastian will have to be a single parent, protecting them until they are old enough to fly.
After a frantic few days of searching, Lord and Lady Curteis consulted their swan expert and came to the conclusion that Sylvia had been stolen. She has had her flight feathers removed so could not have flown away.
Markenfield Hall’s moat has been patrolled by a pair of Black Swans since Lady Deirdre and the late Lord Grantley completed their phase of the Hall’s restoration in the early 1980s.
The couple were given the first pair by a friend who was the Curator of Birds at London Zoo.
The birds and their descendants have lived at the North Yorkshire hall ever since.
Now Lady Deirdre is searching for a new female mate for Sebastian before the hall opens to the public on Sunday, May 5.
She hopes the young swan will accept a new female and “live here in peace once more.”
Markenfield Hall will be open to the public from Sunday, May 5 to Sunday, May 19 and again from Sunday, June 16 to Sunday, June 30.