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Incubated Black Neck Swan Cygnet Hatches


Lakeland, FL (April 29, 2019) | The City of Lakeland has a great success story to share: the first successful Lakeland-born Black Neck Swan cygnet, and we'd like to introduce you (see the video above)! The City of Lakeland acquired a male and female black neck swan six years ago and the two have had little success in producing offspring.

Steve Platt, Grounds Maintenance Supervisor II for the City’s Parks & Recreation Department, and his crew are the keepers of the swans around Lake Morton and he is known around Lake Morton as the Swanfather. Platt said, “Our Black Neck Swans aren’t the best parents and it’s difficult to have a successful captive breeding program with this breed.” He added, “This is the first time in the 22 years that I’ve been with the City that we actually have a Black Neck Baby Swan so we are very excited to share this experience.”

The Swanfather and his crew noticed that the Black Neck Swans made a nest and the female produced three eggs. The crew monitored the nest diligently, and after a few days, the eggs were taken to the City’s special swan egg incubator located at Companion Animal Hospital to be cared for by Dr. Patricia Mattson and her staff.  Dr. Mattson is the official swan vet for the City of Lakeland and donates her time to the care of Lakeland’s domesticated flock.

Swan eggs are incubated at a temperature of about 100 degrees Fahrenheit and at a humidity of about 60 percent. The eggs are typically turned slightly every four hours until a few days before the eggs hatch. Swan eggs must be turned very carefully to prevent the inner membrane from tearing loose from the outer shell of the egg, a problem that often results in the death of the developing swan so great care goes into swan egg incubation. In addition, it is extremely rare for a Black Neck Swan egg to survive incubation at all.

One of the Black Neck Swan eggs hatched a little over three weeks ago, and the baby cygnet has been under the close care of Dr. Mattson and the staff at Companion Animal Hospital, 24/7. The baby swan is now far enough along to share with the community. Platt said, “The black necks have been a tough species for our swan care program and the fact that we have a baby that will soon be introduced on Lake Morton is very exciting.”

This introduction is just the start, and a full release "party" will take place on Lake Morton once the Black Neck Swan is mature enough to survive on its own. 

Look for details on the release party in the next few months.


Kevin Cook
Director of Communications

About Lakeland

The City of Lakeland was incorporated January 1885 and has grown to become one of the largest inland communities in Florida.  With a current population over 100,000 Lakeland continues to grow. It has been designated a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area by the US Census Bureau for over 30 years.  With tourist attractions and gulf beaches only an hour away, Lakeland continues to capitalize on its ideal central Florida location along the I-4 corridor.  The City owns and operates Lakeland Electric, the third largest publicly owned utility in Florida and it was one of the first to offer power in the Sunshine State over 110 years ago.



For additional information about the City of Lakeland, please explore lakelandgov.net.
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