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Trumpeter Swan Cygnets Spread Their Wings at Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo welcomes four cygnets to the McCormick Swan Pond
Chicago (June 6, 2014) — Sound the trumpets! Lincoln Park Zoo has welcomed four feathered trumpeter swan cygnets to the McCormick Swan Pond this week (June 2 and 3). All four adventurous cygnets have begun to explore the pond, following both parents as they explore land and water.

Like birds of a feather, these cygnets will stick together and this fall will be released in Iowa as a part of a collaborative reintroduction program with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR). To date, Lincoln Park Zoo has released more than 40 trumpeter swans, playing a crucial role in the conservation of this species.  

“It’s amazing to see how resilient this species truly is,” said Hope B. McCormick Curator of Birds, Sunny Nelson. “Twenty years ago these birds were nearly extinct and are beginning to make quite the comeback, due in part to reintroduction collaborations such as with the Iowa DNR.”

Until their reintroduction this fall, the cygnets will learn all the necessary skills from the dam to thrive in the wild. In that time, the cygnets will nearly triple in size, become skilled swimmers and learn to feed independently on seeds, grains and other wetlands plants as well as insects and small fish.

Trumpeter swans are the largest North American waterfowl and are easily identified by their white plumage and sleek black bill with wingspans reaching up to eight feet. Adult male trumpeter swans can weigh up to 30 pounds and once they find a mate, often remain together for life.

The cygnets along with several other species of bird can be seen daily throughout the summer at the McCormick Swan Pond at Lincoln Park Zoo from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. (7 p.m. on weekends).   



Media Contacts

Sharon Dewar
(312) 742-2246                       



Jillian Braun
(312) 742-5791                                                  


Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo, a historic landmark founded in 1868, is dedicated to connecting people with nature by providing a free, family-oriented wildlife experience. A leader in conservation science both globally and locally, the zoo exemplifies the highest quality animal care and educational outreach. The not-for-profit zoo, managed by The Lincoln Park Zoological Society, is a member-supported organization and one of the nation’s only free, privately managed zoos. For more information, call 312 -742-2000 or visit


Video and Photography by Todd Rosenberg, June 5, 2014



Cygnet Video  (101MB .mp4)