You may recall a story I had written about a year and a half ago about Bella, the permanently injured swan that I express mailed to Chicago. Bella had broken a leg, which prevented her from turning herself upside down to feed and from getting out of the lake to dry off, which is a necessity.
When I was alerted to Bella’s condition and was able to capture her, I knew she was in big trouble. After a week in my bathtub and assistance from the Regal Swan Foundation, Bella “flew” to Chicago to her forever home with swan keeper, Bob Knox.
I am happy to report that Bella is not only thriving in her new home with mate, Beauregard, she and Beau are the proud patent of five cygnets! The photo shows Bella with three of those cygnets!
Under the watchful eye of Bob, Bella is living the good life! Beauregard spotted Bella when she first arrived in Chicago, and it was love at first sight. Although Bella was initially contained behind a net to keep her weak body from blowing away from her feeder in those fierce Chicago winds, Beau stayed on the other side of the fence constantly. And then they began doing the love dance with the fence between them!After Bella gained enough weight and her good leg was strong enough to enable her to swim, she and Beau became a bonded pair!
Their first mating season wasn’t successful in producing eggs. Bob felt that the trauma Bella endured may have been the reason for that. This spring, however, was an entirely different story. Bella laid five eggs, and all hatched! My biggest concern was that she would break the eggs as she got on and off the nest, as she uses the “elbow” of her wing to maneuver on land. OR…if the eggs did hatch, I was afraid that she would kill the cygnets because of the way she drags her body.
Yes, if you know me, you know that I am neurotic! I am always so worried about anything that could potentially go wrong. I’m not exactly sure if my worrying is enough to make things go “right,” but usually, if I worry enough, I’m pleasantly surprised! And it worked!!! All five cygnets are faring well under Bob’s watchful eye and Beau’s being a great dad. Bob told me that Beau took over a number of Bella’s roles and has truly participated in the care of the cygnets due to Bella’s handicap.
I am so grateful to Shelia Bolin of the Regal Swan Foundation and Bob Knox for providing Bella the migratory path to a beautiful life. While I do wish Bella were here in LOW, I’ll gladly settle for knowing that she is enjoying a great life with her family. And isn’t family what it’s all about?