Swan Pond patrol members breathe sigh of relief as four eggs hatch

Faye swims with her four cygnets at the Manlius Swan Pond.

Faye swims with her four cygnets at the Manlius Swan Pond. Photo by Ned Campbell.

After the first set of eggs were destroyed back in April, Manlius residents were unsure if they’d ever get the chance to see a set of baby swans — called cygnets — at the revered Swan Pond.

But after Faye, the female swan in the pond, laid a second set of eggs, residents moved in quickly to protect them.

The “Swan Patrol” team, coordinated by Laurie Venditti, formed just days after a Jamesville man was arrested for destroying the original eggs. The group’s mission was clear: to protect the swans and the pond at all costs.

And now it seems that the organization’s work has all come to fruition, as four cygnets hatched at the Manlius Swan Pond on Monday, June 25.

“It’s remarkable,” Venditti said. “It’s like we’re having the Fourth of July every day.”

Venditti said the amount of community spirit surrounding the swan eggs is insurmountable. There are constant crowds at the pond, of families eager to get a peak of the babies.

And the 24-hour surveillance done by the 30 pond patrol members is constantly reaffirmed, Venditti said, as residents continually stop by and thank the volunteers for all that they’ve done.

“[Community members] say they feel more comfortable, that the swans are safer with the volunteers here,” Venditti said. “The volunteers have done such a great job, and they care so much.”

In fact, on the day the eggs started hatching, some volunteers were down at the pond by 4 or 5 a.m.

Although Faye kept the cygnets hidden from view for a while, Venditti said she is starting to lead the babies down to the water more frequently.

And the rumors that the cygnets are all female? They’re right, Venditti said. Mayor Mark-Paul Serafin hasn’t yet officially confirmed the names of the swans, but Venditti said they’re likely to be Gino, Dazzle, Noel and Bella.

Venditti said she is very proud of the way various community officials, including the mayor’s office and the Department of Public Works staff, came together to protect and support these animals.

“The love and the care they give these animals, I don’t think that anybody really understands how well these animals are cared for,” Venditti said. “Without their support and care for this pond, none of this could have ever been possible.”

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