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Royal Swans Adorably Signal for Snacks by Ringing a Bell [Video]



Quick Smiles:

  • The swans at The Bishop’s Palace in Wells, Somerset, charmingly ring bells when they wish for treats, a tradition believed to have started in the 1850s.
  • These rescued swans pass down the bell-ringing tradition to their offspring, making it a captivating family practice.
  • Revered by the palace, the swans are celebrated through various artworks and a dedicated “swan cam” for global viewers.

The Bishop’s Palace in Wells, Somerset, England, is renowned for its delightful swan residents.

These majestic birds, rescued over time by Swan Rescue South Wales, have settled comfortably into palace life, becoming cherished members of its legacy.

Moreover, these swans have cultivated the most endearing way to request their favorite nibbles.

Anytime they fancy a snack, the swans tug at one of two bells dangling from a window on the gatehouse, signaling their wish.

Catered with specially-curated food to ensure their well-being, these clever birds have even imparted this bell-ringing skill to their fledglings, fostering a family tradition.


This endearing act of ringing bells for treats is believed to have its origins in the 1850s, initiated by a bishop’s daughter.

The tradition has persisted and flourished to this day, much to the delight of both humans and swans alike.

The charming routine of bell-ringing has been practiced by swan generations, making it a highlight of The Bishop’s Palace experience.


The palace staff showcases their unwavering commitment to these elegant birds.

Visitors to the palace can spot various artworks celebrating the swans throughout the grounds.

Furthermore, during specific seasons, a “swan cam” allows enthusiasts worldwide to observe and revel in the lives of these treasured swans.

Clearly, the presence of the bells, and the swans’ ingenious use of them, cements their esteemed place within the palace community.