Four baby Sunriver swans hatch on the Fourth of July

Just as 4 cygnets arrived 2 years ago - to the day

SUNRIVER, Ore. - Four trumpeter swan cygnets hatched Thursday from a nest lat Sunriver Nature Center & Observatory -- two years to the day after another four cygnets were born on the Fourth of July to the same mother, Grace, and her previous mate, Chuck, who was slain later that year.

The new cygnets are the offspring of Grace and Gus, two swans that reside year-round at the nature center, the facility said.

The cygnets are the first offspring produced by Grace with her new mate, Gus, who was transferred from W.K. Kellogg Biological Station Bird Sanctuary in Michigan and released onto Lake Aspen in Sunriver on May 13.

Grace and Gus were observed mating a couple of days after being introduced, and Grace has been sitting on a nest since late May.

Male swan Gus was a replacement for Grace’s previous mate, Chuck, who was illegally shot by a hunter and had to be humanely euthanized on Thanksgiving Day 2017.

Chuck and Grace produced cygnets in 2016 and 2017. The last brood, consisting of four cygnets, hatched exactly two years ago, on July 4, 2017.

The trumpeter swans that reside at Sunriver Nature Center & Observatory are part of a reintroduction program managed by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Trumpeter Swan Society to expand breeding trumpeter swan numbers and distribution in south-central and southeast Oregon.

In the fall, the new cygnets will be transferred to Summer Lake Wildlife Area, where they will join a breeding flock of wild trumpeter swans.

Sunriver Nature Center & Observatory will hold a swan ‘baby shower’ to celebrate the hatching of the cygnets on Friday, July 19, from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. The event, which is included in general daytime admission, will feature crafts and activities for children and adults and guided walks to view the swans through spotting scopes. Local author Alice Elshoff will also be reading from and signing her recently published book, “How Grace Got Her Name.”

For up-to-date information on the cygnets and photos, please visit the nature center's Facebook page or Instagram page (@sunriver_nature_center).

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