Baby swans emerge at Palace of Fine Arts


After a tough few years for the swans at the Palace of Fine Arts, things may finally be ready to turn the corner.

San Francisco nature photographer David Cruz snapped pictures and video of four adorable little cygnets along with mama swan Blanche yesterday.

Blanche and mate Blue Boy are trying to bounce back after a string of tragic events at the Palace of Fine Arts pond.

In 2010, Blanche’s sister Monday was found dead with a snapped neck, the victim of apparent vandals. Blanche’s mother, Friday, also disappeared from the pond in 2010, with humans suspected as the culprits.

In 2011, Blue Boy was brought in from a New York breeder. The young two-year-old began courting the much older 16-year-old Blanche, with romance — and baby swans — emerging as a result.

But 2011’s crop of swanlings didn’t make it, falling victim to apparent attacks from predators. The couple produced six offspring in 2012, with a commenter reporting four swans in the Palace of Fine Arts pond as of January 2013.

With threats from animal and human intruders, there’s no telling how many of this year’s four baby swans will survive past infancy or end up staying at the pond.

Males generally get the boot from the alpha after a while, and even females — like Blanche’s sister, Bella — can be rejected by the flock and forced to move on.

Jesse Garnier
Jesse Garnier is the editor and founder of SFBay. A Mission District native, he also teaches journalism as associate professor at San Francisco State University.

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