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Sunriver’s new male swan already expectant dad


Even before he’s gotten a name, the new male trumpeter swan in Sunriver who arrived less than three weeks ago has become an expectant father.

The Sunriver Nature Center & Observatory on Thursday asked patrons to make suggestions for a name for the new male partner for Grace (also known as Gracie) introduced to Lake Aspen on May 13. You can find that form here.

The new arrival from a Michigan bird sanctuary was intended to be a mate for Grace, the resident swan whose previous mate, Chuck, was illegally killed on Thanksgiving Day 2017.

And that’s just what happened. On Monday, Kody Osborne, the facility’s lead naturalist, said he found two eggs buried in a nest at the lake.

Grace and her new mate were very vocal and territorial on Monday, protecting the nest, and that led to the discovery.

But Gracie is not likely done, Osborne said.

“She’s not currently sitting on the nest full time, not incubating them,” he said, which is a good sign that she’s planning to lay more eggs.

“Once a full clutch is on there, she sits on them, so they incubate at the same time,” he said. “They can have up to nine eggs in a single clutch.” So there could be several more eggs to hatch.

And it won’t take long for new life to emerge. Osborne said the average gestation period for trumpeter swans is 37 days.

“Gracie’s had a good record of laying eggs and getting them viable and great, so we really expect her to have a good clutch this year,” he said.

​​​​​​​ :”We’re super excited to see the little gray heads pop up, ” Osborne said. “We’re a little surprised it happened so fast. We were hoping it’d go well. “

The newly hatched swans will spend the summer with their parents until they’ve grown large enough to fledge and are “just about ready to fly,” Osborne said. As part of a breeding program, they’ll then be transferred to the Summer Lake Wildlife Area, a refuge where they’ll learn to fly from flighted swans.

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