After the appearance in February of a pair of visiting Mute Swans on our #1 & #9 pond we all were hoping they would consider taking up permanent residency here at GBGC. Their added novelty & beauty, along with the potential hazing possibilities of their distant cousins, the pesky pooping Canada Geese, would make them a welcome addition to the Granite Bay ponds. We started to get a little worried that perhaps a predator got to one of the pair a few weeks ago, as only one had been spotted in recent weeks. We are happy to report that that is not the case and they will be here awhile longer as they are nesting in a secluded little bay near the #1 green.
We don't know how many eggs they are sitting on right now, but will report back when we have more photographic evidence. However it looks like we will be observing a family soon, and maybe have at least a pair around for some time after that.
I gleaned from the Wikipedia linked article above that:
"Mute swans nest on large mounds that they build with waterside vegetation in shallow water on islands in the middle or at the very edge of a lake. They are monogamous and often reuse the same nest each year, restoring or rebuilding it as needed. Male and female swans share the care of the nest, and once the cygnets are fledged it is not uncommon to see whole families looking for food. They feed on a wide range of vegetation, both submerged aquatic plants which they reach with their long necks, and by grazing on land. The food commonly includes agricultural crop plants such as oilseed rape and wheat, and feeding flocks in the winter may cause significant crop damage, often as much through trampling with their large webbed feet, as through direct consumption. It will also feed on small proportions of aquatic insects, fish and frogs."
"Mute swans lay from 4 to 10 eggs. The female broods for around 36 days, with cygnets normally hatching between the months of May and July. The young swans do not achieve the ability to fly before about 120 to 150 days old. This limits the distribution of the species at the northern edge of its range as the cygnets need to learn to fly before the ponds and lakes freeze over."