continued "We initially thought it was a natural predator," Serafin said. "But raccoons don't do that."
The eggs, expected to hatch in mid-May, would have been the first to hatch in the village's iconic Swan Pond in eight years.
"It's a distressing situation for the village," Serafin said. "It's disheartening."
The silver lining, Serafin said, is that the swans, dubbed Manny and Faye, are still early enough in their mating season that they could produce a new nest of eggs. Manny has been collecting feathers and such to create a nest, which will be moved to a floating nesting platform that village crews have started to construct. As of Monday evening, the platform was in the water, but it still needed more work, Serafin said. Once it’s complete, mud will be packed onto it and the swan’s nest will be moved to the platform.
The platform was suggested by swan expert Michael Bean, of Skaneateles. Bean donated Manny and Faye to the village two years ago. The cygnets would have been given to Bean once they were old enough to leave.
A storied past
The swan pond has been situated in the village since at least 1804 — before the village was a village, according to the Manlius Historical Society. It was build to power a mill until the 1860s, when it became part of a farm. Historical records show the daughter of the farm recalled seeing swans on the pond as she grew up. Eventually, the Cheney family bought the farm and put the first pair of swans on the pond in 1905.
The pond was given to the village in 1952. Myrtle the swan, who lived on the pond when the village took it over, died in 1957. She had been on the pond for about 25 years.
In 1958, the village put a fence around the pond to help keep the swans in one place. They were known to cause traffic jams and chase children, newspaper archives show.
The attack on the eggs is not the first trouble the swans have had in the village — there have been numerous assaults on the swans over the years, including a brutal decapitation of one of the swans in 1994.
Anyone with information about the situation is asked to call Manlius Police at 682-2212.
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