Swan Hatchlings

Lincoln Park Zoo Trumpets Arrival of Endangered Swan Cygnets
Trumpeter swan hatchings will be released into the wild

(Chicago – June 6, 2013) Summer guests will undoubtedly flock to see Lincoln Park Zoo’s newest arrivals, six trumpeter swan cygnets, the first of the endangered birds to hatch at the zoo since 2009.

The chicks are destined for an exciting future, as they will eventually be released into the wild as part of a trumpeter swan reintroduction and recovery program that the zoo has been active in for more than a decade. To date, the zoo has released 35 swans in Iowa.

“Trumpeter swans were literally on the brink of extinction just a few decades ago,” said Hope B. McCormick Curator of Birds Sunny Nelson. “Now, thanks to reintroduction efforts like this one, these beautiful birds can be found throughout the region. Chicks hatched at Lincoln Park Zoo are actually breeding in the wild and creating the next generation.”

The cygnets that hatched on June 5 are the first offspring for the zoo’s current swan pair. The adult male, who came to Lincoln Park Zoo in 2010, is a first time dad, while the female has hatched over 30 chicks. Trumpeter swans are very protective parents that carefully construct heavy nests and defend their territory against any unwelcome visitors.

“These cygnets will stay with their parents for up to four months before being released,” said Nelson. “During that time, they’ll roughly triple in size and learn all of the skills that will set them up for success in the wild.”

In addition to being symbolic of wetland recovery across the Midwest, swans are significant for Lincoln Park Zoo. In 1868, a pair of mute swans gifted to Lincoln Park Commissioners by Central Park Commissioners marked the beginning of Chicago’s free zoo.  



Media Contacts

Sharon Dewar
(312) 742-2246


  Tiffany Ruddle
(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 www.lpzoo.org.


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Photos credited to Christopher Bijalba / Lincoln Park Zoo