After more than a month of nesting, five cygnets have joined the spring brigade of millpond newbies. One of the park’s regulars told me the dad’s name is King Arthur and the mom is Guenevere. The names seem appropriate so I’ll stick with them. The King is the pond’s bully. Ever since Guenevere began nesting, he’s patrolled the area and not let any geese nest within 750 feet.
But the King also has an appetite and visits the south end of the pond to beg humans to feed him. His hunger encouraged him to introduce the whole family to me on Memorial Day. He came on shore first and liked the duck chow I tossed to him so the rest of the family felt safe to come closer. Both parents stayed between me and the kids. The kids never left the safety of the water.
I suspect the whole family will trek to the southern end of the pond soon so the parents can teach them the finer art of convincing humans to toss them tidbits. Once the cygnets are as big as the adult ducks (not long!), defending them won’t be an issue. The pond’s turtles, however, are a major threat. The number of cygnets that will reach adulthood is still an unanswered question.