Update: Regains strength, returns to open water
IROQUOIS — Rod and Liesel Bartlett of South Dundas found themselves caring for a lethargic swan at their waterfront property on Grisdale Blvd. this week, but their feathered friend seems to have regained strength, returning to the St. Lawrence River today.
For three weeks, the couple watched the big waterfowl swim around a shrinking area of open water on the river while accompanied by a small black duck.
Seemingly unable to fly, the swan with orange bill finally left the frozen river alone and meandered into the Bartletts’ yard and nearby municipal drain on Tuesday.
They fed their visitor fresh greens and corn and delivered bowls of fresh, warm water to the thirsty bird. They were hoping to find an organization to take the swan before a fox or other wild animal made an easy meal of him/her.
However, Liesel Bartlett reported today that the swan “gained considerable strength” after feeding all day yesterday and “loving the warmed water to drink.” The swan snoozed on the couple’s property overnight, head tucked under wing, but was gone by 3 a.m. “This morning we see him swimming in the St. Lawrence, doing well.’
Readers offered a number of suggestions, via social media, on where to bring the swan, as well as an offer of help from reader who was willing to deliver it to an Ottawa sanctuary.
Rod Bartlett talks about the feathered visitor in the clip below. He describes the bird as a possible ‘tundra’ species swan but, upon further research prompted by reader input, it appears to be a ‘mute’ swan.