Lakeland’s 41st Swan Roundup (+ swan-derful facts)

Ground Maintenance Supervisor II for Lakeland’s downtown; Steve Platt, “The “Swanfather” | Photo via @lakelandgov

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Happy Swantober, LAL. Every fall, our royal avians (donated by the Queen of England, herself) are rounded up on Lake Morton and put into a holding pen for their annual wellness checkup — and tomorrow marks the 41st anniversary of the annual “Swan Roundup”.

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And it went like… | Video via @thelaltoday

Since 1980, the City’s growing population of 80 swans has been checked for wounds, injuries, and aging-related changes like cataracts or arthritis. The whole event takes 2 days, with day 1 being the official “roundup,” and day 2, the veterinary checkup. After the exam, the swans are returned to the lake.

Did you know the 2-day time span gives the swans time to calm down after the roundup?

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The “Swanfather” doing his thing. | Video via @thelaltoday

While our iconic feathered friends are quite mesmerizing to watch, there tends to be a little mystery surrounding them. To help fix that, we did our own little roundup + put together a few fast facts you may not know about swans. 

  • They can live between 20-30 years. Shout out to the 863’s OG swans
  • A male swan is called a “Cob” + a female swan is called a “Pen.” (Sound familiar?)
  • They’re gluten-free (aka, bread free). The City of Lakeland’s Government Lakes and Stormwater Division says that feeding bread to swans and ducks is dangerous
  • Swans are known to be the largest flying birds and need roughly 30-ft to become airborne. 
  • They’re known to be really smart and can remember who has been nice to them, like The Swanfather

Did you know the fear of swans is called Cygnophobia or kiknophobia?

You can take a gander at a few more pics of this year’s annual swan captures, below. ⬇️

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