After a mother swan passed away unexpectedly, the dad stepped in as a hero and raised the babies himself.
The mother swan hatched babies, or cygnets, in Boston, Massachusetts, and they could be found on the Charles River Esplanade.
Swans mate for life, and the mother and father swans could regularly be seen swimming through the river together as a little family.
In a typical swan family, the mother cares for the babies almost exclusively, while the father patrols the area and tries to keep predators and other swans away. The fathers play an active role in the swan family unit, but don’t typically help much with rearing the cygnets.
However, this dad swan stepped in and took over the role of mom when the mother of his cygnets passed away. According to The Dodo, a staff member of the Esplanade Association named Emma Feeney explained that the mother’s nest was first spotted in early April. Eventually, they noted that she’d laid nine eggs, and they all began hatching in late May.
Sadly, the mother didn’t do well after her babies were hatched. Feeney shared that Animal Care and Control had received a call about the mother swan. People were concerned with her behavior, and she “seemed to have been bobbing her head and couldn’t stand up on her own.”
By the time animal control could arrive to assess the swan, it was too late and she’d, unfortunately, passed away.
While for many babies, the death of their mother would mean the death of them, that wasn’t the case for her little cygnets. Instead, the father stepped in and began taking on the role of Mom.
The official Twitter account for the Charles River Esplanade shared photos of the father swan caring for his little cygnets, saying, “Many have begun referring to the father of the swan family as Atticus, named after Atticus Finch, the widowed father in the novel ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.'”
Feeney shared with The Dodo, “They seem to be doing well. You can spot them in the esplanade lagoon swimming together, with some of the babies riding along on his back.”
Reporter Anna Meiler shared a video of the little papa swan in action, caring for his babies, and it’s truly sweet to watch.
Check it out below:
— Anna Meiler (@AnnaMeiler) June 4, 2021
It seems the babies will have the best chance to reach adulthood and live long, happy lives thanks to their hero of a dad.Whizzco