Two baby swans have hatched at the Manlius Swan Pond, and on Tuesday the tips of their wings were 'pinioned,' or snipped, so that they'll never be able to fly.
Waterfowl biologist Michael Bean who watches over the swans for Manlius, says the two are both girls. He expects their mother, Faye, to take them out on the pond on Wednesday. The sooner they're on the water, the sooner they'll eat and the healthier they'll be, he tells us, though they have enough stored reserves to protect against starving for a week.
Bean was told by phone there were four hatchlings, but only two were out of their eggs when he checked Tuesday.. He can hear sounds in another egg and no sounds from a fourth. Late Tuesday afternoon, the two eggs were removed from the nest to be candled, to check inside, and they'll be put in an incubator to hatch if they are viable. Typically the swans would abandon unhatched eggs if all the babies do not come out at once.
There were a total of seven eggs this spring, but they came early, in March, and its probable the first ones froze before the mother swan, Faye, started sitting on the clutch. . Two eggs were found broken, naturally, and the swans had pushed them out of the nest. A third egg appeared to be about to explode, so caretakers removed it
This is the third clutch of eggs to parents Manny and Faye. Their clutch set was destroyed by a vandal in April, 2012. A few months later, Manny and Faye welcomed four healthy cygnets to the Swan Pond.