Vickie the swan unlikely to head home due to ongoing illness


Vickie the swan unlikely to head home due to ongoing illness


Date: January 30, 2013
by: Robin Hartill | City Editor




The Bay Isles waters were Vickie the swan’s home for 11 years.

Her territory was the area closest to Publix.

She was named for longtime Publix associate Vickie “Miss Vickie” Workman.

Now, Vickie has a new home, and it’s probably permanent.

Unofficial “swan keeper” David Novak took Vickie to Save Our Seabirds Sunday, Jan. 20, one day after he noticed that she was in distress.

“She was lying on the ground and wouldn’t move,” Novak said. “She obviously hadn’t preened herself. She was dirty, and her feathers were turning down.”

Novak credits Save Our Seabirds staffers with helping Vickie improve, but he doesn’t expect her health to improve enough to allow her to return home.

That means that her mate, Henry, will find himself on the swan singles scene.

“Henry could be fine by himself, or a female could fly in from another area,” Novak said.

In the past year, Vickie has undergone two stints of rehabilitation at Save Our Seabirds because of an intestinal disorder.

Novak took her to the City Island facility last April because she wasn’t swimming normally and was incessantly shaking her tail and showing signs of digestive issues.

Save Our Seabirds staffers administered fluids and antibiotics to Vickie during her first rehabilitation, which allowed her to return home after a week.

A few days later, Novak brought her back after noticing that she was displaying her original symptoms.
Her reunion with Henry after the second trip to rehab was straight out of a romance novel: Vickie and Henry necked for 30 seconds upon her return.

So, will Henry be happy without his mate? That has yet to be seen.

“Generally, swans can live alone and be quite content,” Novak said.

Not yet nesting season
No, there aren’t any swan nests — yet.

Nesting season typically occurs in late February or early March for swans.

If you’re counting those cygnets before they hatch, there are still three potential pairs of parents in Vickie’s absence: Stan and Wendy, Alan and Beverly, and a pair of young unnamed swans that Novak believes could mate.


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