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Sat Jun 5, 2021, 01:20 PM

Father swan photographed caring for cygnets after Esplanade's 'Mother Swan' dies

Three days after the Charles River Esplanade’s mother swan died of undetermined causes, the father swan was spotted giving their cygnets a ride on its back across the Storrow Lagoon.

Matthew Raifman, a Boston University doctoral student in environmental health, began scanning the Esplanade for the swans around 2 p.m. Thursday and spotted them near the playground, he said in an interview.


But he “had no idea that the father was going to be … carrying some of the swans on his back,” he said.

In Raifman’s photographs, three gray cygnets huddle together on the back of the adult swan, which raises its wings on either side to form a cradle. A fourth fuzzy cygnet follows in the water just behind the adult swan’s tail.


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