ORISKANY — The population in the pond at 1310 Utica St. has now doubled. The two mute swans that live there have produced two young birds.
According to James Kernan, the family has been raising mute swans for over 25 years. The swans have spent years invading the original Erie Canal and the Kernans have been herding them back to the pond, he noted.
Kernan went to Ava recently to find a mate for the cob (the male), who is named Igor because of his disagreeable personality. He brought an unnamed pen (a female) back to Oriskany. The two swans produced four eggs. Two hatched. Soon, as the Kernans learn the personalities of the adult female and the two young birds, called cygnets, they will be named.
The pond at 1310 Utica St. has been around for over 120 years, said Kernan, whose building hosts an engineering firm, an insurance company and a law practice.
Mute swans are white, except for an orange bill and a black knob on top of the bill. When young, they are covered in fuzzy gray down and their bills are gray-black for the first year. While not heavy, noted Kernan, they are large, with a wingspan close to that of a man’s arm span. They often live about 15 years. Their name refers to their lack of a loud squawk, though they do communicate with each other quietly.
A recent clutch of eggs in Manlius did not have the same happy ending. In late April, eight eggs were about to yield up to eight young swans to expectant parents Manny and Faye at the Manlius Swan Pond. Then vandals took all eight eggs, breaking seven of them either by throwing or dropping them, according to Manlius police. The eighth embryo eventually died as well, after the egg landed in leaves and did not break. It has been eight years since young swans have grown up at the pond. That story could still have a happy ending, however, as the parents picked a new nesting place and have produced at least one egg in what could be a clutch of almost 10 eggs, according to a report from the Syracuse Post-Standard.