The Glynmill Inn Pond will be getting a pair of new mute swans, but not until next spring.
The man who is donating the swans already has an idea for how Corner Brook residents can become more engaged in welcoming the new birds.
“You should have a naming contest to generate interest,” suggested Mike Power.
Power is the chairperson of the Bowring Park Foundation, the organization which brought swans back to that park in St. John’s years ago. Bowring Park’s original swans came from England in 1946, but there was a period when the park had no swans when those first winged inhabitants died.
The foundation eventually sourced new swans in Stratford, Ont. and reintroduced them to the park.
The population at Bowring Park grew quickly and the City of St. John’s eventually offered two to Power, with the condition that he be responsible for them, including covering any veterinarian bills.
He keeps the swans he and his wife Sonia co-own with another couple, Alex and Bev Crosbie, at Virginia Lake in the east end of St. John’s.
Glynmill Inn Pond also has a long history of being home to mute swans. In March of this year, a male swan that had been living in the pond was killed by an eagle, leaving a female swan to enjoy the usually tranquil pond on its own.
Corner Brook Pulp and Paper, which owns the property and handles the responsibility of caring for the majestic white birds, committed to finding a replacement for the male. The paper company got in touch with Bowring Park and was put in touch with Power.
The agreement is to have two swans — born in July to those owned by Power — donated to Corner Brook.
The female swan in Corner Brook right now is also from Bowring Park, having been donated to the city by St. John’s in 2008 after two other swans living in the Glynmill Inn Pond died.
Power said the mother swan, Bea, gave birth to the pair of cygnets on the shores of Virginia Lake after sitting on four eggs for about two months. The father swan, Bernie, was very protective of the eggs, he noted, and continues to keep a close eye on his offspring since they hatched.
The cygnets have each had one of their wings clipped so they cannot fly, a condition of Power’s permit to own them.
The swans will be housed at Virginia Lake until next spring when Power said they will be old enough to be transported to their new home.
The gender of the two cygnets is not yet known. As noted by Power, their sex can only be determined by a blood test when they are approximately nine months of age.