Rare Swan Joins Queens Zoo
The Queens Zoo is looking a little more elegant these days, with the arrival of a new male trumpeter swan that now graces the zoo's marsh area. Although he's still acclimating to his new wetland home, Winton has already bonded with Marsh Alice, the zoo's lone female trumpeter swan. Zookeepers say the two are getting along "swimmingly".
Because it's common for swans to form pairs, it's no surprise these two feathered friends hit it off almost immediately. During Winton's first week at the zoo, he and Marsh Alice together explored the pond where they live and took part in various courting behaviors. They've been inseparable ever since. Because this swan species is now rare—it nearly became extinct a century ago due to over-hunting— zoo officials are hoping the twosome will breed and produce chicks that can be reintroduced into the wilds of the American Midwest.
The trumpeter swan is the largest of all North American waterfowl. They are majestic birds, with striking white plumage accented by a black bill and black legs. Visitors can see the Queens Zoo's beautiful swans in the marsh area, left of the main entrance.
Though trumpeter swans almost disappeared forever in the early 1900s, recent years have shown the species experiencing a dramatic comeback, with an opportunity to occupy much of their former range in the Western and Midwestern regions of the U.S. Despite this good news, trumpeter swans still face serious threats in the wild, including lead poisoning, habitat loss and changes to their usual migration patterns to southern wintering lands. The Wildlife Conservation Society works to save rare animals such as the trumpeter swan through science, research, and raising public awareness about the plight of these animals in the wild.
The Queens Zoo is located at 53-51 111th St. in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park and is open 365 days a year. Zoo hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays; 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekends. Admission is $7 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for children age three to12, and free for children under three years of age. For more information, call 718-271-1500, or visit www.queenszoo.com
The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on earth.
To make donations in support of helping save wildlife and wild places, visit www.wcs.org/donation.