Swans used to be considered a delicacy to eat, but they are now a protected species and the Queen owns every single one of the swans on open water in the UK.

Swans are returned to the water following an examination in the annual counting of The Queen's swans, known as 'Swan Upping,' along the River Thames near Chertsey, Britain, July 17, 2017.
Swans are returned to the water following an examination in the annual counting of The Queen's swans, known as 'Swan Upping,' along the River Thames near Chertsey, Britain, July 17, 2017.

Swans used to be considered a delicacy to eat, but they're a protected species in the UK now, and the Queen owns all of the swans on open water in the United Kingdom.

Swan upping is the traditional means by which the swans on the Thames are apportioned among the three proprietors.

Its main practical purpose today is to conduct a census of swans and check their health.

It occurs annually during the third week of July and is under way.

TRT World 's Sara Firth explains.

Source: TRT World