Sunday, June 13, 2021. New York City – In April and May 2021, I saw mute swans incubating their eggs in the beautiful Prospect Park, in the borough of Brooklyn; New York City.
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The first time I noticed them was on Friday, April 2, 2021. The second time I filmed one of the swans incubating the eggs was on Thursday, April 8, 2021. The third time I filmed a swan in the nest was on Friday, April 30, 2021. The four time I filmed the swan incubating the eggs was on Thursday, May 6, 2021. The fifth time I filmed the mother swan was on Wednesday, June 2, 2021. More than two months have passed and they already have babies, 6 beautiful cygnets.
A male swan is called a Cob. The female is called a Pen and the young are called cygnets (pronounced ‘sig-nets’) until they are a year old. Cygnets are not ducklings. Swans are not ducks, they are much bigger than most ducks, and cygnets are a bit larger than ducklings.
According to the information I found online, female and male swans take turns incubating the eggs, which hatch after 35-45 days.
On Wednesday, June 2, 2021, I also saw a beautiful double-crested cormorant and turtles sharing an “island”, well, it is not an island, it is a rock in the lake of Prospect Park. Several turtles and the double-crested cormorant sharing a small rock. Gorgeous!
I love swans, Canada geese, raccoons, squirrels, ducks, northern cardinals (also known colloquially as the redbird, common cardinal, red cardinal, or just cardinal), and other animals in Prospect Park and other public parks in New York City. Animals should be free in their natural habitats and not in prisons (zoos, aquariums, circuses, etc.).
Unfortunately, some people do not like animals. Sometimes I see people harassing animals in parks. Sometimes it is the government that kills animals in parks and other places.
Canada geese used to have babies (goslings) in Prospect Park, in the borough of Brooklyn. The last time Canada geese had goslings in Prospect Park was in 2011. Watch the video below.
On July 8, 2010, nearly 400 Canada geese and goslings in Prospect Park were captured, gassed and thrown into trash bags.
For several years, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the NYC government killed thousands of Canada geese. They killed geese in Prospect Park, Central Park, Inwood Hill Park, Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge and other places.
A petition (that is closed now) by GooseWatch NYC says, “Since 2009, thousands of New York City’s Canada geese have been killed each summer by USDA Wildlife Services in the name of air safety. The killing is inhumane and lacks scientific merit.”
GooseWatch NYC became inactive at the end of 2016, but for several years, GooseWatch NYC, Friends of Animals and other organizations had rallies to protect Canada Geese, turkeys, deer, coyotes, swans and carriage horses.
On July 8, 2011 was the commemoration of the 1 year anniversary of the slaughter of the Prospect Park Canada Geese.
Mary Beth Purdy- Artz sang “This Land is Your Land” with the lyrics adapted to the Canada Geese issue.
On Wednesday, June 26, 2013, GooseWatch NYC and In Defense of Animals had a press conference and rally at Merchant’s Gate (Columbus Circle) Central Park to speak out against the killing of Canada geese in New York City.
Speakers included David Karopkin, Founder and Director of GooseWatch NYC; Ken Paskar, President of Friends of La Guardia Airport and former lead safety representative for the FAA Safety Team; Anja Heister, M.S. Biologist and Director of the Wild and Free-Habitats Campaign; Brian Shapiro, NY State Director of The Humane Society of the United States; Edita Birnkrant, NY Director of Friends of Animals; Suzanne Soehner, resident of the Inwood Hill Park community and Mary Beth Purdy Artz, NYC Wildlife Advocate.
In 2018, “a family of mute swans in upstate Oneida was killed by U.S. Department of Agriculture wildlife staff after a kayaker complained to state DEC about an “aggressive” male swan. The two adults were shot and the four cygnets were captured and intentionally drowned. In Brooklyn, the seven swans that make their home in Prospect Park Lake have been missing since June 2, according to signs posted this week.
Cymbrowitz and Avella sponsored legislation to protect New York’s mute swans from extermination, with input from Friends of Animals, which was signed into law in 2016. The law established a two-year moratorium on the DEC’s controversial mute swan management plan—which was basically a government sanctioned death sentence. The law also requires DEC to demonstrate that the swans have caused actual damage to the environment or to other species, including humans.”
“Swans are birds of the family Anatidae within the genus Cygnus. The swans’ closest relatives include the geese and ducks. Swans are grouped with the closely related geese in the subfamily Anserinae where they form the tribe Cygnini. Sometimes, they are considered a distinct subfamily, Cygninae. There are six living and many extinct species of swan; in addition, there is a species known as the coscoroba swan which is no longer considered one of the true swans. Swans usually mate for life, although “divorce” sometimes occurs, particularly following nesting failure, and if a mate dies, the remaining swan will take up with another. The number of eggs in each clutch ranges from three to eight.
Swans are the largest extant members of the waterfowl family Anatidae, and are among the largest flying birds. The largest living species, including the mute swan, trumpeter swan, and whooper swan, can reach a length of over 1.5 m (59 in) and weigh over 15 kg (33 lb). Their wingspans can be over 3.1 m (10 ft). Compared to the closely related geese, they are much larger and have proportionally larger feet and necks. Adults also have a patch of unfeathered skin between the eyes and bill. The sexes are alike in plumage, but males are generally bigger and heavier than females. The biggest species of swan ever was Cygnus falconeri, a flightless giant swan known from fossils found on the Mediterranean islands of Malta and Sicily.
The Northern Hemisphere species of swan have pure white plumage, but the Southern Hemisphere species are mixed black and white. The Australian black swan (Cygnus atratus) is completely black except for the white flight feathers on its wings; the chicks of black swans are light grey. The South American black-necked swan has a white body with a black neck.
Swans’ legs are normally a dark blackish grey colour, except for the South American black-necked swan, which has pink legs. Bill colour varies: the four subarctic species have black bills with varying amounts of yellow, and all the others are patterned red and black. Although birds do not have teeth, swans, like other Anatidae, have beaks with serrated edges that look like small jagged ‘teeth’ as part of their beaks used for catching and eating aquatic plants and algae, but also molluscs, small fish, frogs, and worms. In the mute swan and black-necked swan, both sexes have a fleshy lump at the base of their bills on the upper mandible, known as knob, which is larger in males, and is condition dependent, changing seasonally.”_Wikipedia.org
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