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The Long Hot Summer

While the hopes for a successful first brood for Sully and Susie were tempered by their young age, the results were spectacular.  They did an excellent job of parenting, raising four healthy and good-size cygnets.  However, the golf course renovations caused a major intrusion of their habitat causing them to spend their leisure time near and sometimes on Bay Isles Parkway.  I constructed 500 feet of silt fencing to keep them in after seeing the futility of hoping they would learn that the road is a dangerous place.  When the pine trees were cut down, that was the worst.  One would think they could have traveled south into more open waters, but they refused to give up on the pond near their original nest.

Stan and Wendy looked to have another good year, and with their four surviving cygnets, things were good as the water conditions improved.  There were two incidents where as many as three otters were spotted, but the parents went on high alert and scooted the cygnets onto dry land.  I've been very diligent in providing a modest amount of food supplements with a limited amount of protein.  Regardless, one cygnet developed an angel wing and another a double angel wing.  The research states the condition can be caused by both heritage and from overnourishment.  Given that Wendy has an angel wing, inheritance was certainly possible.  Since the cygnets cannot fly due to pinioning, the addition of angel wings is not a dysfunction, but rather a cosmetic abnormality.

I have since diluted the feed further, and hopefully that will mean no angel wings in coming broods.

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