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Oakbridge Swans – A Part of the Lakeland Tradition

Monday, October 12th, 2015 by Wanda Kaiser in Grasslands Community / 0 Comments
The Swans in Ritchfield enjoy their private habitat.

The Swans in Bridgefield enjoy their private habitat.

The swans of Lakeland are city-wide celebrities, with their picture adorning everything from storefronts to the city’s official logo.  Many of these graceful birds can trace their ancestry to England, where the original mating pair of white mutes was donated by the Queen of England in 1954.  The city’s swan population now numbers over 80, and includes four distinct species of the fowl: Australian black swans, white mutes, South American black-necked swans, and white Coscoroba swans.

Approximately three years ago, two families in Oakbridge’s Bridgefield subdivision wanted to have a pair of swans make their home on the large lake behind their houses.  This process required more work than they anticipated.  First, they had to ask for and receive permission from their neighbors and the home owners association.  Once this was granted, the city required that they build a special cage at the water’s edge to serve as a nesting area to provide protection from predators.  Once the City of Lakeland approved these preparations, the two families purchased a pair of swans.

Owners had to build a special cage for the swans.

Owners first had to build special cages for the swans.

Love did not come easy to this pair.  They were kept together in a cage for a time to help them get used to each other.  After their release, one of the swans flew to the smaller lake in the Bridgefield subdivision to think things over.  The bird eventually returned to its mate and the pair has enjoyed their home together for the last three years.

These beautiful birds now share the lake with ducks, egrets, and other water fowl.  If you stop by to visit, be respectful of these white beauties since they are descendants of Her Majesty’s gift.

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