Our Town Coralville: The serenity of swans

The Brown Deere Golf Club in Our Town Coralville gains two residents each summer. Swans- one male, one female - who mate for life.
Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 8:49 PM CDT
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CORALVILLE, Iowa (KCRG) - The Brown Deere Golf Club in Our Town Coralville gains two residents each summer. Swans- one male, one female - who mate for life.

They arrived thanks to Kathleen McLaughlin’s Mother’s Day wish.

“Well, what would you like for Mother’s Day? And I was all ready for him because I had done some background work and there’s another couple in Iowa City that has a pond and they had swans on the pond,” said McLaughlin.

Neighbors pool their money to rent the swans. A man who raises them in Independence deposits them when the weather warms, and gathers them with the chill of fall.

McLaughlin was the primary caretaker for a dozen or so years. Now the role is Kim Swanson’s. The swans get fed twice a day - morning and evening.

“They eat whole corn and cracked corn, I just give them a little combo of each. They don’t eat a whole lot, they eat like birds,” said Swanson.

“And we have always have a lot of company and grandkids around and this and that, so we all hop in the golf cart and come on down and feed the swans, it’s a lot of fun,” said Swanson.

Years ago different swans on this pond grew their family over the summer. The same could happen this year- as these two swans are about five years old.

“It’s the male who’ll build a nest. He’ll start in and start collecting sticks and building it around them.”

These particular swans are called “mute swans” - they are quieter than other types of swans and have the distinctive elegant, long neck that curve into an “s.” An unexpected, serene image made possible by neighbors adding something enchanting to a city course’s pond.

“Wouldn’t it be beautiful to see a peaceful thing like that because swans just glide along? There’s so much unhappiness in the world that when you look at them it’s just peaceful and that’s why I got them,” said McLaughlin.