We are thrilled to welcome five fluffy baby Black Swans or cygnets, to historic Kippax Lake in Moore Park. The adorable hatchlings are the result of a successful second year trial of a floating nesting pontoon in Kippax Lake and we couldn’t be more proud!
Kippax Lake is an important heritage feature in Moore Park, and it also plays a critical role for native wildlife.
Many native species thrive in their own right in the area, from possums to eels, but sometimes, we need to give native wildlife a little bit of help.
What is a ‘nesting pontoon’?
A ‘nesting pontoon’ was introduced last year with the clever suggestion of park visitor.
Before its introduction, resident swans in Moore Park had an inconsistent breeding history in the Kippax Lake area. They would build their nests on the side of the concrete platform at the lake, and while some seasons gave successful results, it was also not uncommon for nests to be disrupted by dogs or flooding.
Our current nesting pontoon is like a floating island haven in the middle of Kippax Lake. It is well away from neighbourhood dogs and cats as well as rising flood waters, making it the perfect place to build a nest home.
What is it made of?
The platform is made of timber and a durable matrix of fibres formed from recycled plastic and it is even anchored into place from underneath.
This one has been well-loved, and will need to be retired once the cygnets are fledged and ready to leave their nest. But a new, sturdy platform will be put in place before the next phase of the breeding season.
Check out the platform below, along with some photos of the babies with mum and dad!
How can you help?
If you are wondering what you can do to help us look after these cute babies, our Environmental Officer Amara has some great tips:
#1 Keep dogs on a leash
Know on leash areas and always keep dogs on leash when walking through them. Also be careful to give the swans plenty of space and do not walk your dog within 10 metres of the lake.
#2 Place your rubbish in a bin
Rubbish is a choking hazard for baby birds. Always put your rubbish in a bin to ensure it does not get washed into the lake.
#3 Help us to keep our water ways beautiful
The swans also depend on a healthy lake ecosystem, and that means good water quality. Two factors that have a big impact on water quality are soapy water and dog faeces, which both encourage algae.
You can wash your car on the grass and pick up your dog’s poo to make sure that these toxins don’t make it into our waterways.
The babies will thank you!