Sunriver Nature Center reports an increase of visitors getting too close to the famous trumpeter swans.
“They’re easy to approach and get close to, so people think it would be a great photo opportunity or they think it would be okay to touch the swans,” said Kelli Newmann, Program Director for Sunriver Nature Center.
Neumann is also the birds’ main caregiver. She says the swans have not attacked any people yet, but as with all wildlife, they can be unpredictable. The two adult swans — Gus and Val — are still raising their two young, making them especially defensive.
“The main thing we want to not encourage people to do is approach them,” Neumann said.
The water fowl have a wing span of 10 feet, the same amount of distance Neumann recommends people keep from them. If you get too close, the swans will hiss as a warning.
The adults are rescues and are both injured, preventing them from flying.
Their main source of food in the pond is duckweed, which dies off in the fall and winter months. To compensate, Neumann places a feeding station along the bank of Lake Aspen, often bringing them closer to visitors of the nature center.
If the fowl family happen to wander onto one of the trails, the best course of action for visitors is to maintain their distance, and turn around if necessary.
Two baby swans hatched in July, the first baby swans at the Nature Center in three years. Here was our report on that.