Inquiring Park Visitors Want to Know: Are Those Swans for Real?

The newest additions to the pond at Rochester Municipal Park have many visitors shrugging their shoulders, perplexed.

Have you seen the swans a swimming in Rochester? Look closely. Then look again: they're not as real as they seem.

Two fiberglass swans were placed, floating, in the pond at last week. City Department of Public Service workers put them there, ingenuously chained together and weighted down, according to Rochester City Manager Jaymes Vettraino, to help control a problem with geese at the pond.

The city has nothing against geese: it's just that in this particular location, near the park entrance, the geese were getting a little too close to young children. Not to mention the mess they were leaving behind.

Fake swans are a tried-and-true method for keeping geese away.   

"So far, it seems to be working," Vettraino said. 

The geese float freely with the current in the pond, and Vettraino said he has seen many park visitors stop to stare at them with curiousity. 

Pat Wittenbach August 02, 2012 at 07:54 PM
My granddaughters and I noticed the swans today but noticed their heads never moved then we looked closer. They did have us fooled for awhile. Cute!!
Sue Gardner August 03, 2012 at 01:12 PM
They aren't worried about the swans....it's the geese. The fake swans were put in the scare away the geese NOT scare away swans.
Kim August 03, 2012 at 02:15 PM
I've seen these fake swans in two ponds at a neighborhood on Dutton Road for the past couple of months, but they don't seem to do any good. I was there the other day to take some pictures and there were at least 20 geese around the pond. I think they can tell they're fake, just like crows can tell a scarecrow isn't a real person.
M.M. August 03, 2012 at 06:46 PM
Patricia August 05, 2012 at 12:42 PM
Rochester does have compassion and "heart". Thank goodness, almost everyone you talk to at the City in various departments wants to protect the wildlife-they realize there is less and less land in the area available to them and compromise in a coexistence can be established. Our City employees and Dept. heads do have big hearts. But there is water, there will always be life-including ducks, geese, swans, birds, little critters, etc.. Where the numbers are appropriate they add to the ambience and wonder of our park and green areas-that is what they are for. A little space for everyone to enjoy nature-even in a city. After living here 57 years, that pond and our creek and river have always had ducks and geese on them and at times during migration, many more in a stop-over. We had fields where birds came down by the thousands for a rest and feed--and in our neighborhood a couple of years ago, crows migrating came in for an evening and I never saw anything like that before-it is amazing. The "swans" were a good idea. Glad our city is compassionate.


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