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A Swan in Central Park

Central Park SwanWhen Robert Ondrish’s wife gave him a camera for Christmas in 2021, the gift coincided with the torrential blizzard that virtually everyone in Fredericksburg remembers, for better or worse. For Ondrish, the blizzard was for the better, as when he took photos with his camera for the first time, he discovered a sight uncommon to Fredericksburg: a swan in Central Park. 

Ondrish and his wife went to the ponds in Central Park to take photos of the mallards in the snow, only to be greeted by a massive mute swan, who walked towards them as he took photos (pictured above). According to Ondrish, this sighting is as rare an occurrence as it is bizarre. Mute swans are not migratory birds, nor are they commonly indigenous to Virginia. But while Ondrish is confused by the swan’s winter residence in Fredericksburg, he is just as happy about it, if not more so. 

This winter marks the third year of Ondrish visiting the ponds in Central Park, where he has seen the swan “like clockwork” every winter. He said that when he went to the ponds on Thursday, 12/28, the swan was feeling photogenic. Whether the swan knows that he is being photographed is unclear, but according to Ondrish, he’s loving every bit of the attention. 

As Ondrish reminded, the mute swan is a symbol of love. In that spirit, and the spirit of the holiday season, when families come together and celebrate their love for one another, it is only fitting that this swan returns to his winter home of Fredericksburg. . 

As Ondrish has shared with the city, not every tourist to Fredericksburg walks on two feet. The swan reminds us all that Fredericksburg is a premiere destination, for both tourists and our feathered friends alike. 

You may have noticed that the swan has yet to be named…any recommendations?

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